Motor experience interacts with effector information during action prediction


Recent theory suggests that action prediction relies of a motor emulation mechanism that works by mapping observed actions onto the observer action system so that predictions can be generated using that same predictive mechanisms that underlie action control. This suggests that action prediction may be more accurate when there is a more direct mapping between the stimulus and the observer. We tested this hypothesis by comparing prediction accuracy for two stimulus types. A mannequin stimulus which contained information about the effectors used to produce the action and a point stimulus, which contained identical dynamic information but no effector information. Prediction was more accurate for the mannequin stimulus. However, this effect was dependent on the observer having previous experience performing the observed action. This suggests that experienced and naive observers might generate predictions in qualitatively difference ways, which may relate to the presence of an internal representation of the action laid down through action performance.

Back to Table of Contents