Geoffrey Bingham

Geoffrey Bingham

Professor, Psychological And Brain Sciences


  • 1985 PhD University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT
  • 1977 BA Trinity College, Hartford, CT
  • (dissertation research at the Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden)
  • Postdoctoral study: Laboratory for Perceptual Robotics, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA Haskins Laboratories, New Haven, CT

Research interests

Areas of Study


Event Perception

Research Topics

Human visual and haptic perception

Visual event perception

Coordination and control

Visually guided reaches-to-grasp


3D shape perception

Affordances and long distance throwing

Space perception


Affordances and control of grasping

Developmental Coordination Disorder

Perceptuo-motor learning across the lifespan

Research Summary - We pursue a number of related programs of research as follows: Visually guided reaches-to-grasp: We study both feedforward and feedback control of reaches-to-grasp. The former entails investigation of calibration of space perception (i.e. perception of object distance, size and 3D shape), of 3D shape perception, and of the perception of affordances for grasping. The latter involves discovery of the visual information used to guide reaches online and modeling the dynamics of such control. We have most recently studied reaching in the context of walking-to-reach, a problem that entails coordination of nested actions. Most recently, we have studied the control of grasping in the context of a model of the affordances for grasping and adaptation to changes in grasp effectivities (naturally caused by growth, aging, or injury).

Developmental Coordination Disorder: We are working to develop automated means to train and improve manual control by children with Developmental Coordination Disorder, with the specific goal of improving their handwriting. We are using haptic force feedback devices coupled with computer graphics/virtual reality technology to create a manual task at which the children train with parametric levels of support that enables them to gradually improve their performance while maintaining high levels of self-efficacy.

Human bimanual and visual coordination: We have developed a nonlinear coupled oscillator (dynamical systems) model of rhythmic coordinated movement that incorporates perceptual information variables in the coupling of the coordinated movements. The research program entails investigation of these sources of information in visual and haptic control of these actions. The research has extended to the learning of new coordinated movements through perceptual learning (developing sensitivity to new information variables). Most recently, this latter effort has been extended to study of perceptuo-motor learning across the lifespan to discover how rates of learning change over the lifespan with applications to treatment of stroke and other related disorders.

Calibration: In the 1990's, we advocated that calibration should be investigated as the solution to problems in space perception. We have developed a theory of calibration as entailing a mapping among embodied units of perception and action. We have performed extensive studies investigating this theory and the resulting dynamics of calibration.

Affordances and long distance throwing: We have investigated the ability to perceive by hefting the optimal objects for throwing to a maximum distance and how the ability to do this is acquired in concert with acquiring throwing skill. We discovered that the affordance property exhibits the same functional relation between object size and weight as in the classic size-weight illusion. Accordingly, we have hypothesized that the classic illusion actually reflects uniquely human readiness to throw. The research program has now been extended to studies of targeted long distance throwing and visual guidance thereof.

Visual event recognition: We have investigated the visual information used to recognize events, performing extensive psychophysical studies testing sensitive to qualitative variations in trajectory forms. We have approached events as spatial-temporal objects of perception.

Representative publications

Human readiness to throw: The size–weight illusion is not an illusion when picking the best objects to throw (2011)
Qin Zhu and Geoffrey P Bingham
Evolution and Human Behavior, 32 (4), 288-293

Accommodation, occlusion, and disparity matching are used to guide reaching: A comparison of actual versus virtual environments (2001)
Geoffrey P Bingham, Arthur Bradley, Michael Bailey and Roy Vinner
Journal of experimental psychology: human perception and performance, 27 (6), 1314

The necessity of a perception–action approach to definite distance perception: Monocular distance perception to guide reaching (1998)
Geoffrey P Bingham and Christopher C Pagano
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 24 (1), 145

Dynamics and the orientation of kinematic forms in visual event recognition (1995)
Geoffrey P Bingham, Richard C Schmidt and Lawrence D Rosenblum
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 21 (6), 1473

Task-specific devices and the perceptual bottleneck (1988)
Geoffrey P Bingham
Human Movement Science, 7 (2-4), 225-264

Kinematic form and scaling: Further investigations on the visual perception of lifted weight (1987)
Geoffrey P Bingham
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 13 (2), 155

Learning to perceive the affordance for long-distance throwing: Smart mechanism or function learning? (2010)
Qin Zhu and Geoffrey P Bingham
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 36 (4), 862

Calibrating grasp size and reach distance: interactions reveal integral organization of reaching-to-grasp movements (2008)
Rachel Coats, Geoffrey P Bingham and Mark Mon-Williams
Experimental Brain Research, 189 (2), 211-220

Discovering affordances that determine the spatial structure of reach-to-grasp movements (2011)
Mark Mon-Williams and Geoffrey P Bingham
Experimental Brain Research, 211 (1), 145-160

A sensorimotor approach to the training of manual actions in children with developmental coordination disorder (2013)
Winona Snapp-Childs, Mark Mon-Williams and Geoffrey P Bingham
Journal of child neurology, 28 (2), 204-212

A solution to the online guidance problem for targeted reaches: Proportional rate control of visually guided reaching using disparity tau information (2010)
J. Anderson and G. P. Bingham
Experimental Brain Research, 205 (3), 291-306

Embodied memory: Effective and stable perception by combining optic flow and image structure (2013)
J. S. Pan, N. Bingham and Geoffrey P. Bingham
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, Online First,

Object recognition using metric shape (2012)
Y. L. Lee, M. Lind, N. Bingham and Geoffrey P. Bingham
Vision Research, 69 23-31

Dissertation Committee Service

Author Dissertation Title Committee
Anderson, Joseph Walking to Reach: Binocular Disparity Matching and The Tau Hypothesis (January 2009) Bingham, G. (Co-Chair), Busey, T., Yu, C. (Co-Chair), Candy, R.
Brady, Michael A Field-Based Artificial Neural Network w/ Cerebella Model for Complex Motor Sequence Learning (May 2012) Beer, R. (Chair), Kewley-Port, D., Port, R., Bingham, G.
Kadihasanoglu, Didem An Evolutionary Robotics Approach to Visually-Guided Braking: Data and Theory (October 2012) Beer, R. (Chair), Bingham, G., Busey, T., Yu, C.
Lee, Young Lim Metric Shape Can Be Perceived Accurately And Used Both For Object Recognition and Visually Guided Action (September 2009) Bingham, G. (Co-Chair), Busey, T., James, T. (Co-Chair), Hanson, A (Co-Chair).
Tiede, H. Causation, Causal Perception, And Conservation Laws (November 1999) Moss, L. (Chair), Friedman, M., Bingham, G., Koertge, N., Suppe, F.,
Wilson, Andrew A Perception –Action Approach To Rhythmic Movement Coordination (August 2005) Bingham, G. (Co-Chair), Busey, T. (Co-Chair), Pisoni, D., Port, R.