Moving into action: the informational grounding of behavioral organization
Research in the “Behavioral Dynamics and Immersion” team aims at identifying the functional characteristics of the perceptual-motor strategies underlying an agent's interactions with the environment. Focusing on visually-guided action, the problem is addressed at the perception-action (or more precisely at the information-movement) level, through formal identification of (i) the different sources of available information and (ii) the way in which information is integrated into movement. The team's ambition is to understand the conditions that underlie the emergence of structured perceptual-motor behaviors. As virtual reality offers the possibility to create environments and action modes that vary in their correspondence to physical reality, in our work virtual reality constitutes not only a (very useful) research tool but also an object of research of and by itself.
Addressing these issues in the operational framework of paradigmatic agent-environment interaction tasks such as navigation and interception is expected to allow the development of interactionist and behavioral models of the emergence of “presence”, understood as the consequence of immersive characteristics of a virtual environment, experimental context, and agent properties. In this framework presence is a behavioral variable that can thus be measured. Our working hypothesis is that it can be qualified by a specific structuring of the behavioral dynamics.
While the team's research is predominantly situated in the domain of experimental psychology, the program also calls on theoretical and methodological skills in the domains of behavioral sciences, information sciences (computer science, human-machine interaction, …) and numerical sciences (modeling and simulation).