Many daily activities involve synchronizing with other people’s actions. Previous literature has revealed that a slowdown of performance occurs whenever the action to be carried out is different to the one observed (i.e., visuomotor interference). However, action execution can be facilitated by observing a different action if it calls for an interactive gesture (i.e., social motor priming). The aim of this study is to investigate the costs and benefits of spontaneously processing a social response and then executing the same or a different action. Participants performed two different types of grips, which could be either congruent or not with the socially appropriate response and with the observed action. In particular, participants performed a precision grip (PG; thumb-index fingers opposition) or a whole-hand grasp (WHG; fingers-palm opposition) after observing videos showing an actor performing a PG and addressing them (interactive condition) or not (non-interactive condition). Crucially, in the interactive condition, the most appropriate response was a WHG, but in 50 percent of trials participants were asked to perform a PG. This procedure allowed us to measure both the facilitator effect of performing an action appropriate to the social context (WHG)—but different with respect to the observed one (PG)—and the cost of inhibiting it. These effects were measured by means of 3-D kinematical analysis of movement. Results show that, in terms of reaction time and movement time, the interactive request facilitated (i.e., speeded) the socially appropriate action (WHG), whereas interfered with (i.e., delayed) a different action (PG), although observed actions were always PGs. This interference also manifested with an increase of maximum grip aperture, which seemingly reflects the concurrent representation of the socially appropriate response. Overall, these findings extend previous research by revealing that physically incongruent action representations can be integrated into a single action plan even during an offline task and without any training.

Social Motor Priming: when offline interference facilitates motor execution

Sonia Betti;Silvia Guerra;Umberto Castiello;Luisa Sartori
2019

Abstract

Many daily activities involve synchronizing with other people’s actions. Previous literature has revealed that a slowdown of performance occurs whenever the action to be carried out is different to the one observed (i.e., visuomotor interference). However, action execution can be facilitated by observing a different action if it calls for an interactive gesture (i.e., social motor priming). The aim of this study is to investigate the costs and benefits of spontaneously processing a social response and then executing the same or a different action. Participants performed two different types of grips, which could be either congruent or not with the socially appropriate response and with the observed action. In particular, participants performed a precision grip (PG; thumb-index fingers opposition) or a whole-hand grasp (WHG; fingers-palm opposition) after observing videos showing an actor performing a PG and addressing them (interactive condition) or not (non-interactive condition). Crucially, in the interactive condition, the most appropriate response was a WHG, but in 50 percent of trials participants were asked to perform a PG. This procedure allowed us to measure both the facilitator effect of performing an action appropriate to the social context (WHG)—but different with respect to the observed one (PG)—and the cost of inhibiting it. These effects were measured by means of 3-D kinematical analysis of movement. Results show that, in terms of reaction time and movement time, the interactive request facilitated (i.e., speeded) the socially appropriate action (WHG), whereas interfered with (i.e., delayed) a different action (PG), although observed actions were always PGs. This interference also manifested with an increase of maximum grip aperture, which seemingly reflects the concurrent representation of the socially appropriate response. Overall, these findings extend previous research by revealing that physically incongruent action representations can be integrated into a single action plan even during an offline task and without any training.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11577/3311030
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