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Experts see it all: configural effects in action observation

Calvo-Merino, B, Ehrenberg, S, Leung, D and Haggard, P (2010) Experts see it all: configural effects in action observation Psychological Research: an international journal of perception, attention, memory and action, 74 (4). pp. 400-406.

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Abstract

Biological motion perception is influenced by observers’ familiarity with the observed action. Here, we used classical dance as a means to investigate how visual and motor experience modulates perceptual mechanism for configural processing of actions. Although some ballet moves are performed by only one gender, male and female dancers train together and acquire visual knowledge of all ballet moves. Twenty-four expert ballet dancers (12 female) and matched non-expert participants viewed pairs of upright and inverted point light female and common dance movements. Visual discrimination between different exemplars of the same movement presented upright was significantly better in experts than controls, whilst no differences were found when the same stimuli were presented upside down. These results suggest expertise influences configural action processing. Within the expert group, effects were stronger for female participants than for males, whilst no differences were found between movement types. This observer gender effect could suggest an additional role for motor familiarity in action perception, over and above the visual experience. Our results are consistent with a specific motor contribution to configural processing of action.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > School of Arts > Dance, Film and Theatre
Authors :
AuthorsEmailORCID
Calvo-Merino, BUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Ehrenberg, SUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Leung, DUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Haggard, PUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date : July 2010
Identification Number : 10.1007/s00426-009-0262-y
Related URLs :
Additional Information : The original publication is available at http://www.springerlink.com
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 02 Apr 2014 13:42
Last Modified : 09 Jun 2014 13:47
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/804552

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