In Tribute: Reflections on the Impact of Professor Michael Turvey on Motor Development




Motor development, Dynamic system, Perception-action, Michael Turvey


In our tribute to Professor Michael Turvey, we have two parallel goals: 1) to highlight the scientific scope of Turvey’s impact on motor development; and, 2) to expose readers to papers that they may not have read but that might cast new light on age-old questions they confront in their current research on motor development.  The paper is divided into two equal time periods.  In Part 1, from 1975 to 1999, we trace the emergence and growth of Dynamic Systems/Ecological Realism (perception-action) paradigms.  We explain how the existing paradigms in motor development research, the descriptive and information processing paradigms were, in part, replaced by new paradigms whose existence owes much to Michael Turvey and his colleagues.  We suggest that this time period was one where Turvey had the most conceptual influence on the field.  In Part 2, from 2000 to 2024, we describe how factors, including the emergence of two new paradigms in motor development research may have reduced Turvey’s direct influence.  But we also note that there is still much research undertaken that builds off the bases of Dynamic Systems and Perception-Action Coupling approaches including research by Turvey and his students/colleagues.  We end with the suggestion that the present generation of motor development researchers may have something to gain by re-/reading research from these perspectives regardless of whether it is directly from Professor Turvey’s pen or from those whom he influenced (or influenced him).


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...




How to Cite

Whitall, J., & Clark, J. E. (2023). In Tribute: Reflections on the Impact of Professor Michael Turvey on Motor Development. Brazilian Journal of Motor Behavior, 17(6), 304–314.



Special Issue in memory of Michael Turvey