Perception of affordances for a given behavior reflects not only a person’s current action capabilities but also impending changes to his or her action capabilities. This experiment investigated perception of affordances for reaching when the means of performing the reaching task would increase or decrease reaching ability. The results showed that in both cases perception of maximum reaching height reflected the person’s anthropometric properties (i.e., standing height) and the future means of reaching, and improvements in perception of maximum reaching height transferred to unpracticed reaching tasks. The results highlight the role of action in the perception of affordances and are discussed in the context of a description of perceptual systems as smart perceptual devices.

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