BIROn - Birkbeck Institutional Research Online

    Attention modulates the specificity of automatic imitation to human actors

    Longo, Matthew R. and Bertenthal, B.I. (2009) Attention modulates the specificity of automatic imitation to human actors. Experimental Brain Research 192 (4), pp. 739-744. ISSN 0014-4819.

    Text (Refereed)
    5411.pdf - Author's Accepted Manuscript

    Download (702kB) | Preview


    The perception of actions performed by others activates one’s own motor system. Recent studies disagree as to whether this effect is specific to actions performed by other humans, an issue complicated by differences in perceptual salience between human and non-human stimuli. We addressed this issue by examining the automatic imitation of actions stimulated by viewing a virtual, computer generated, hand. This stimulus was held constant across conditions, but participants’ attention to the virtualness of the hand was manipulated by informing some participants during instructions that they would see a “computer-generated model of a hand,” while making no mention of this to others. In spite of this attentional manipulation, participants in both conditions were generally aware of the virtualness of the hand. Nevertheless, automatic imitation of the virtual hand was significantly reduced––but not eliminated––when participants were told they would see a virtual hand. These results demonstrate that attention modulates the “human bias” of automatic imitation to non-human actors.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: Brain and Cognitive Development, Centre for (CBCD)
    Depositing User: Matthew Longo
    Date Deposited: 04 Jan 2013 11:39
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 16:59


    Activity Overview
    6 month trend
    6 month trend

    Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.

    Archive Staff Only (login required)

    Edit/View Item Edit/View Item