The Motor System Does Not Use a Curvilinear Impetus Belief: Folk Physics and Embodied Cognition


Previous work shows that people often believe, contrary to actual physics, that objects travelling in a curved path through a tube will continue to travel in a curved path after exiting the tube. In the present study, previous work was replicated, but accuracy increased in a new condition in which people were asked to catch an actual ball emerging from a tube. That is, in this case there is a discrepancy between how we believe the world works, and how our motor system responds to events in the world. This finding supports the theory that the perception and action systems of the brain use different methods to predict how things move in the world, and that the abstract reasoning systems used to explain how the world works are often in conflict with the action systems.

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