After viewing an image representing an action on an object, we recognize the forward states of the seen action faster than the backward states. The present study exploits a variant of a new experimental paradigm to investigate cognitive mechanisms underlying this effect. Participants viewed a series of still photos of unfolding actions on objects, each followed by a photo depicting either one of three (instead of two of the original paradigm) different and temporally distant moments after the image or one moment before the image, along with photos of different actions. Experiment 1 revealed the classical forward effects in this new context: when the task was to judge whether the action in the second photo was the same as in the first photo, evaluations were faster for all forward photos than for backward photos. In Experiment 2, we examined the role of participants’ attention to the object alongside the role of attention to action kinematics in triggering these “forward effects” by manipulating participants’ attentional focus. As the results showed, evaluations were faster for all forward photos when the focus was on the action kinematics, but when the focus was on the object, evaluations were faster only for the last forward photo showing the final action state. These results seem to suggest that focusing on the object triggers a representation of the action goal and thus modulates the mental simulation underlying action anticipation.

Forward effects from action observation: The role of attentional focus

Francesco Iani;Teresa Limata
;
Ivan Nabil Ras;Monica Bucciarelli
In corso di stampa

Abstract

After viewing an image representing an action on an object, we recognize the forward states of the seen action faster than the backward states. The present study exploits a variant of a new experimental paradigm to investigate cognitive mechanisms underlying this effect. Participants viewed a series of still photos of unfolding actions on objects, each followed by a photo depicting either one of three (instead of two of the original paradigm) different and temporally distant moments after the image or one moment before the image, along with photos of different actions. Experiment 1 revealed the classical forward effects in this new context: when the task was to judge whether the action in the second photo was the same as in the first photo, evaluations were faster for all forward photos than for backward photos. In Experiment 2, we examined the role of participants’ attention to the object alongside the role of attention to action kinematics in triggering these “forward effects” by manipulating participants’ attentional focus. As the results showed, evaluations were faster for all forward photos when the focus was on the action kinematics, but when the focus was on the object, evaluations were faster only for the last forward photo showing the final action state. These results seem to suggest that focusing on the object triggers a representation of the action goal and thus modulates the mental simulation underlying action anticipation.
In corso di stampa
1
34
Francesco Iani; Teresa Limata; Ivan Nabil Ras; Monica Bucciarelli
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2318/1939472
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