Effects of context on visuomotor interference depends on the perspective of observed actions

Bortoletto, Marta, Mattingley, Jason B. and Cunnington, Ross (2013) Effects of context on visuomotor interference depends on the perspective of observed actions. PLoS One, 8 1: e53248.1-e53248.7. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0053248

Author Bortoletto, Marta
Mattingley, Jason B.
Cunnington, Ross
Title Effects of context on visuomotor interference depends on the perspective of observed actions
Journal name PLoS One   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1932-6203
Publication date 2013-01
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0053248
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 8
Issue 1
Start page e53248.1
End page e53248.7
Total pages 7
Place of publication San Francisco, CA, United States
Publisher Public Library of Science
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Visuomotor interference occurs when the execution of an action is facilitated by the concurrent observation of the same action and hindered by the concurrent observation of a different action. There is evidence that visuomotor interference can be modulated top-down by higher cognitive functions, depending on whether own performed actions or observed actions are selectively attended. Here, we studied whether these effects of cognitive context on visuomotor interference are also dependent on the point-of-view of the observed action. We employed a delayed go/no-go task known to induce
visuomotor interference. Static images of hand gestures in either egocentric or allocentric perspective were presented as ‘‘go’’ stimuli after participants were pre-cued to prepare either a matching (congruent) or non-matching (incongruent)
action. Participants performed this task in two different cognitive contexts: In one, they focused on the visual image of the hand gesture shown as the go stimulus (image context), whereas in the other they focused on the hand gesture they performed (action context). We analyzed reaction times to initiate the prepared action upon presentation of the gesture image and found evidence of visuomotor interference in both contexts and for both perspectives. Strikingly, results show that the effect of cognitive context on visuomotor interference also depends on the perspective of observed actions. When focusing on own-actions, visuomotor interference was significantly less for gesture images in allocentric perspective than in egocentric perspective; when focusing on observed actions, visuomotor interference was present regardless of the perspective of the gesture image. Overall these data suggest that visuomotor interference may be modulated by higher cognitive processes, so that when we are specifically attending to our own actions, images depicting others’ actions (allocentric perspective) have much less interference on our own actions.
Keyword Mirror Neuron System
Automatic Imitation
Magnetic Stimulation
Intransitive Actions
Motor Facilitation
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Queensland Brain Institute Publications
Official 2014 Collection
School of Psychology Publications
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 6 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 5 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Sun, 17 Feb 2013, 00:20:07 EST by System User on behalf of School of Psychology