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    The time course of eye movements during action observation reflects sequence learning

    Press, Clare and Kilner, J.M. (2013) The time course of eye movements during action observation reflects sequence learning. NeuroReport 24 (14), pp. 822-826. ISSN 0959-4965.

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    Abstract

    When we observe object-directed actions such as grasping, we make predictive eye movements. However, eye movements are reactive when observing similar actions without objects. This reactivity may reflect a lack of attribution of intention to observed actors when they perform actions without 'goals'. Alternatively, it may simply signal that there is no cue present that has been predictive of the subsequent trajectory in the observer's experience. To test this hypothesis, the present study investigated how the time course of eye movements changes as a function of visual experience of predictable, but arbitrary, actions without objects. Participants observed a point-light display of a model performing sequential finger actions in a serial reaction time task. Eye movements became less reactive across blocks. In addition, participants who exhibited more predictive eye movements subsequently demonstrated greater learning when required either to execute, or to recognize, the sequence. No measures were influenced by whether participants had been instructed that the observed movements were human or lever generated. The present data indicate that eye movements when observing actions without objects reflect the extent to which the trajectory can be predicted through experience. The findings are discussed with reference to the implications for the mechanisms supporting perception of actions both with and without objects as well as those mediating inanimate object processing.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): action observation, eye movements, learning, point light, prediction, serial reaction time task
    School: Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Science > Psychological Sciences
    Research Centre: Brain and Cognitive Development, Centre for (CBCD)
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2013 09:22
    Last Modified: 02 Dec 2016 11:55
    URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/8074

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