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The dynamics of the interrelation of perception and action across the life span


Wermelinger, Stephanie; Gampe, Anja; Daum, Moritz M (2019). The dynamics of the interrelation of perception and action across the life span. Psychological Research, 83(1):116-131.

Abstract

Successful social interaction relies on the interaction partners' perception, anticipation and understanding of their respective actions. The perception of a particular action and the capability to produce this action share a common representational ground. So far, no study has explored the interrelation between action perception and production across the life span using the same tasks and the same measurement techniques. This study was designed to fill this gap. Participants between 3 and 80 years (N = 214) observed two multistep actions of different familiarities and then reproduced the according actions. Using eye tracking, we measured participants' action perception via their prediction of action goals during observation. To capture subtler perceptual processes, we additionally analysed the dynamics and recurrent patterns within participants' gaze behaviour. Action production was assessed via the accuracy of the participants' reproduction of the observed actions. No age-related differences were found for the perception of the familiar action, where participants of all ages could rely on previous experience. In the unfamiliar action, where participants had less experience, action goals were predicted more frequently with increasing age. The recurrence in participants' gaze behaviour was related to both, age and action production: gaze behaviour was more recurrent (i.e. less flexible) in very young and very old participants, and lower levels of recurrence (i.e. greater flexibility) were related to higher scores in action production across participants. Incorporating a life-span perspective, this study illustrates the dynamic nature of developmental differences in the associations of action production with action perception.

Abstract

Successful social interaction relies on the interaction partners' perception, anticipation and understanding of their respective actions. The perception of a particular action and the capability to produce this action share a common representational ground. So far, no study has explored the interrelation between action perception and production across the life span using the same tasks and the same measurement techniques. This study was designed to fill this gap. Participants between 3 and 80 years (N = 214) observed two multistep actions of different familiarities and then reproduced the according actions. Using eye tracking, we measured participants' action perception via their prediction of action goals during observation. To capture subtler perceptual processes, we additionally analysed the dynamics and recurrent patterns within participants' gaze behaviour. Action production was assessed via the accuracy of the participants' reproduction of the observed actions. No age-related differences were found for the perception of the familiar action, where participants of all ages could rely on previous experience. In the unfamiliar action, where participants had less experience, action goals were predicted more frequently with increasing age. The recurrence in participants' gaze behaviour was related to both, age and action production: gaze behaviour was more recurrent (i.e. less flexible) in very young and very old participants, and lower levels of recurrence (i.e. greater flexibility) were related to higher scores in action production across participants. Incorporating a life-span perspective, this study illustrates the dynamic nature of developmental differences in the associations of action production with action perception.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Neuroscience Center Zurich
06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords:DoktoratPsych Erstautor
Language:English
Date:1 February 2019
Deposited On:16 Jan 2019 14:51
Last Modified:05 Mar 2019 04:14
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0340-0727
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00426-018-1058-8
PubMed ID:30083839
Project Information:
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant IDS-63216-03-01
  • : Project Title

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