Perception, Movement, Action Banner University of Edinburgh




The Wonderful World of Animal Action

When we look around we see wonders of purposive action unfolding before our eyes - bees flitting from flower to flower, songbirds flying from twig to twig, gannets diving into the sea at breakneck speed, dogs catching balls, horses leaping fences, babies conversing with their parents, divers performing aerobatic feats, people performing music. If we then ponder what is going on inside our bodies - how the lungs and heart are acting to fuel movement of the limbs, how immune cells are moving around seeking out invaders, and so on - the wonder of animal action increases.


The Perception Movement Action Research Consortium (PMARC) was established in 2006 by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Edinburgh to celebrate the wonderful world of animal action by promoting the study of how humans and animals control their actions to purposeful ends - in particular how Perception prospectively guides Movement through intrinsic processes to achieve purposive Action. Dave Lee is the founder and director of the Consortium, Ross Sanders is the co-director. The PMARC labs at Edinburgh University are in the Institute of Sport, Physical Education and Health Sciences, Moray House School of Education. Affilliated labs are in different institutions around the world, the goal of the Consortium being to bring together scientists and practitioners to share their understanding of animal action and so foster research collaboration and provide a resource for research and teaching for all those interested in this vital topic.


This PMARC website is about the laws, the intrinsic processes and the prospective perceptual information about the potential future that underpin how we, and our animal cousins, large and small, prospectively control our movements to purposeful ends. It is about fundamental skills such as reaching, grasping, gesturing, balancing, running, walking, and feeding, as well as culturally learned skills as in sports, driving, flying, and performing music. It is also about the control of activity within the body that supports the control of extrinsic actions.