Date of Award

Spring 3-2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Chair

Dr. Alen Hajnal

Committee Chair School


Committee Member 2

Dr. Aaron Fath

Committee Member 2 School


Committee Member 3

Dr. Hans Stadthagen

Committee Member 3 School


Committee Member 4

Dr. Richard Mohn

Committee Member 4 School



Optic flow, the pattern of light generated in the visual field by motion of objects and the observer’s body, serves as information that underwrites perception of events, actions and affordances. This visual pattern informs the observer about their own actions in relation to their surroundings, as well as those of others. This study explored the limits of action detection for others as well as the role of optic flow. First-person videos were created using camera recordings of the actor’s perspective as they performed various movements (jumping jacks, jumping, squatting, sitting, etc.). In three experiments participants attempted to detect the action from first-person video footage using open ended responses (Experiment 1), forced choice responses (Experiment 2), and a match-to-sample paradigm (Experiment 3). It was discovered that some actions are more difficult to detect than others. In general, athletes were more accurate, particularly when the task was more difficult (e.g, Experiment 1). All actions were identified above chance level across viewpoints, suggesting that invariant information was detected and used to perform the task.

ORCID ID 0000-0002-2149-5765