Ecological approach to perception and action: Fundaments for motor behavior

  • Sérgio T. Fonseca UFMG, Belo Horizonte, MG -
  • Christina D. C. M. Faria UFMG, Belo Horizonte, MG
  • Juliana M. Ocarino Centro Universitário de Belo Horizonte
  • Marisa C. Mancini UFMG, Belo Horizonte, MG
Keywords: Ecological approacher, perception, action, motor behaviour


The objective of the present study is to introduce the philosophical position and the core concepts of the Ecological Approach to Perception and Action, emphasizing its principles and its uniqueness in relation to other theories related to motor behavior. The Ecological Approach, as opposed to other approaches, assumes the direct realism as its philosophical standpoint. Thus, the Ecological Approach to Perception and Action proposes the concepts of specificity, direct perception and affordance. By assuming the direct realism, the Ecological Approach to Perception and Action commits to the mutuality animal  environment and perception and action, and proposes that the dualism, commonly found in other theories, does not contribute to the understanding of human motor behavior. The choice of a given theory, during the process of scientific investigation, implies in a commitment to the philosophical views and to the principles and assumptions in which it is based. The knowledge about the core concepts of the Ecological Approach may support the decision making process about accepting or rejecting the ideas advanced by James Gibson and, consequently, direct the use of this theory to the development of investigations on perception and action.

Research Articles