The Effects of Attention, Appropriateness, and Familiarity on Action Understanding: A Functional MRI Study

Shaw, Thomas (2014). The Effects of Attention, Appropriateness, and Familiarity on Action Understanding: A Functional MRI Study Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Shaw, Thomas
Thesis Title The Effects of Attention, Appropriateness, and Familiarity on Action Understanding: A Functional MRI Study
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2014-10-08
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Ross Cunnington
Total pages 91
Language eng
Subjects 1701 Psychology
Abstract/Summary Social behaviour is highly reliant upon attending to the actions of others. Both the Mirronneuron System (MNS) and object recognition systems are involved in action perception when observing others performing actions using objects. However, functional and neural mechanisms underlying (a) the interaction between the perception of others’ actions and the perception of the objects that others use, and (b) how these task-relevant cues are modulated by context-specific factors, are not yet fully understood. We aimed to examine the interaction between neural activity and its functional correlates for both viewing actions and viewing objects and how these are moderated by the appropriateness of actions and by the familiarity of the objects presented. Participants completed a one-back task that controlled the context of action understanding by manipulating task-relevance to objectspairs or actions. Brain activation measuring the effects of attention on the two neural networks underlying action-related and object-related attention was measured using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI). Our findings showed that context is important for action perception and that attention modulates the neural systems subserving the viewing of paired objects performing actions. Results also suggested that separate neural pathways exist for viewing appropriate and inappropriate actions. Taken together, our findings indicate that the interplay between networks underlying action understanding and object recognition are modulated by the context of observation.
Keyword Social Behaviour
Mirronneuron System
Perception

 
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Created: Tue, 12 May 2015, 09:29:36 EST by Louise Grainger on behalf of School of Psychology