BIROn - Birkbeck Institutional Research Online

Imitation of lateralised body movements: Doing it the hard way

Press, Clare and Ray, E. and Heyes, C. (2009) Imitation of lateralised body movements: Doing it the hard way. Laterality: Asymmetries of Body, Brain and Cognition 14 (5), pp. 515-527. ISSN 1357-650X.

Full text not available from this repository.
Official URL:


Two experiments examined imitation of lateralised body movement sequences presented at six viewing angles (0°, 60°, 120°, 180°, 240°, and 300° rotation relative to the participant's body). Experiment 1 found that, when participants were instructed simply to “do what the model does”, at all viewing angles they produced more actions using the same side of the body as the model (anatomical matches), than actions using the opposite side (anatomical non-matches). In Experiment 2 participants were instructed to produce either anatomical matches or anatomical non-matches of observed actions. When the model was viewed from behind (0°), the anatomically matching group were more accurate than the anatomically non-matching group, but the non-matching group was superior when the model faced the participant (180° and 240°). No reliable differences were observed between groups at 60°, 120°, and 300°. In combination, the results of Experiments 1 and 2 suggest that, when they are confronting a model, people choose to imitate the hard way; they attempt to match observed actions anatomically, in spite of the fact that anatomical matching is more subject to error than anatomical non-matching.

Item Type: Article
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Imitation, Action observation, Stimulus–response compatibility, Spatial compatibility, Mirror system, Mirror neuron
School: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Science > Psychological Sciences
Research Centre: Brain and Cognitive Development, Centre for (CBCD)
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 05 Nov 2012 09:15
Last Modified: 02 Dec 2016 11:55

Archive Staff Only (login required)

Edit/View Item Edit/View Item