One way to understand something is to break it up into parts. New research indicates that segmenting ongoing activity into meaningful events is a core component of perception and that this has consequences for memory and learning. Behavioral and neuroimaging data suggest that event segmentation is automatic and that people spontaneously segment activity into hierarchically organized parts and subparts. This segmentation depends on the bottom-up processing of sensory features such as movement and on the top-down processing of conceptual features such as actors' goals. How people segment activity affects what they remember later; as a result, those who identify appropriate event boundaries during perception tend to remember more and to learn more proficiently.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80-84
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Directions in Psychological Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2007


  • Event perception
  • Intentions
  • Motion
  • Segmentation


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