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The influence of environmental context in interpersonal observation-execution.

Roberts, JW, Bennett, SJ, Welsh, TN, Elliott, D, Lyons, JL and Hayes, SJ (2016) The influence of environmental context in interpersonal observation-execution. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology. ISSN 1747-0226

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Cyclical upper-limb movements involuntarily deviate from a primary movement direction when the actor concurrently observes incongruent biological motion. We examined whether environmental context influences such motor interference during interpersonal observation-execution. Participants executed continuous horizontal arm movements while observing congruent horizontal or incongruent curvilinear biological movements with or without the presence of an object positioned as an obstacle or distractor. When observing a curvilinear movement, an object located within the movement space became an obstacle, and thus, the curvilinear trajectory was essential to reach into horizontal space. When acting as a distractor, or with no object, the curvilinear trajectory was no longer essential. For observing horizontal movements, objects were located at the same relative locations as in the curvilinear movement condition. We found greater involuntary movement deviation when observing curvilinear compared to the horizontal movements. Also, there was an influence of context only when observing horizontal movements, with greater deviation exhibited in the presence of a large obstacle. These findings suggest the influence of environmental context is underpinned by the (mis-)matching of observed and executed actions as incongruent biological motion is primarily coded via bottom-up sensorimotor processes, whilst the congruent condition incorporates surrounding environmental features to modulate the bottom-up sensorimotor processes.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology on 17/04/2014, available online: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17470218.2015.1127982
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1701 Psychology, 1702 Cognitive Science
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC1200 Sports Medicine
Divisions: Sport & Exercise Sciences
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2016 08:46
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2021 13:39
DOI or ID number: 10.1080/17470218.2015.1127982
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/2600
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