Adult aging, processing style, and the perception of biological motion.
ABSTRACT BACKGROUND/STUDY CONTEXT: Social perception may be influenced by the extent to which individuals focus on global, rather than local, detail-based, processing of information about others. Here the authors investigated whether global processing biases relate to successful detection of actions and emotions from point-light biological motion (BM) stimuli. Also explored is whether age differences in BM perception and global-local processing biases are related.
One hundred and twenty-seven participants (aged 18 to 86) completed tasks assessing BM perception and global-local processing.
Successful decoding of actions and emotions from BM stimuli was correlated with global processing bias. Older adults performed more poorly on BM decoding and had a local processing bias. However, age differences in global-local processing could not fully explain differences in decoding actions or emotions from point-light displays.
Therefore, although there was an association between age, perceptual processing bias, and detection of BM, other factors must be important in explaining age-related change in social perception.
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ABSTRACT: There is consistent evidence that older adults have difficulties in perceiving emotions. However, emotion perception measures to date have focused on one particular type of assessment: using standard photographs of facial expressions posing six basic emotions. We argue that it is important in future research to explore adult age differences in understanding more complex, social and blended emotions. Using stimuli which are dynamic records of the emotions expressed by people of all ages, and the use of genuine rather than posed emotions, would also improve the ecological validity of future research into age differences in emotion perception. Important questions remain about possible links between difficulties in perceiving emotional signals and the implications that this has for the everyday interpersonal functioning of older adults. KeywordsAdult aging–Emotion perception–Ecological validity–Interpersonal functioningJournal of Nonverbal Behavior 01/2011; 35(4):279-286. · 1.77 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: When interpreting other people's movements or actions, observers may not only rely on the visual cues available in the observed movement, but they may also be able to "put themselves in the other person's shoes" by engaging brain systems involved in both "mentalizing" and motor simulation. The ageing process brings changes in both perceptual and motor abilities, yet little is known about how these changes may affect the ability to accurately interpret other people's actions. Here we investigated the effect of ageing on the ability to discriminate the weight of objects based on the movements of actors lifting these objects. Stimuli consisted of videos of an actor lifting a small box weighing 0.05-0.9 kg or a large box weighting 3-18 kg. In a four-alternative forced-choice task, younger and older participants reported the perceived weight of the box in each video. Overall, older participants were less sensitive than younger participants in discriminating the perceived weight of lifted boxes, an effect that was especially pronounced in the small box condition. Weight discrimination performance was better for the large box compared to the small box in both groups, due to greater saliency of the visual cues in this condition. These results suggest that older adults may require more salient visual cues to interpret the actions of others accurately. We discuss the potential contribution of age-related changes in visual and motor function on the observed effects and suggest that older adults' decline in the sensitivity to subtle visual cues may lead to greater reliance on visual analysis of the observed scene and its semantic context.Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 01/2013; 7:795. · 2.91 Impact Factor