Learn how humans perform actions based on the information they process.

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In the previous lesson, we learned how human memory handles information. We know how humans store and retain information, but how does this information turn into human actions? What are the limitations and capabilities of movement by a human body?

This lesson gives an insight into the actions a human body can perform and the factors that affect these actions. Recall from the introduction of this chapter that human action is the final stage of Model Human Processor.


Consider the simple task of picking up a piece of bread from the floor. You perceive the image of bread on the floor. Your brain sends a signal to the body, and it performs the required actions to bend and pick up the piece of bread from the floor.

Response time

Each stage of the whole process in the above example takes time. This period of time is called response time. It can be divided into two fragments of time:

  • Reaction time: The time taken to react to sensory stimuli. This depends on the stimuli type.
    • Visual: ~ 200ms
    • Auditory: ~150ms
    • Tactual: ~700ms
  • Movement time: The time taken by the body’s muscles to respond. This depends mainly on the physical characteristics of the person. For example, age, fitness, and health.

Response time = Reaction time + Movement time

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