Article

Action Comprehension: Deriving Spatial and Functional Relations.

Max Planck Institute for Psychological Research, Munich, Germany.
Journal of Experimental Psychology Human Perception & Performance (Impact Factor: 3.36). 07/2005; 31(3):465-79. DOI: 10.1037/0096-1523.31.3.465
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

A perceived action can be understood only when information about the action carried out and the objects used are taken into account. It was investigated how spatial and functional information contributes to establishing these relations. Participants observed static frames showing a hand wielding an instrument and a potential target object of the action. The 2 elements could either match or mismatch, spatially or functionally. Participants were required to judge only 1 of the 2 relations while ignoring the other. Both irrelevant spatial and functional mismatches affected judgments of the relevant relation. Moreover, the functional relation provided a context for the judgment of the spatial relation but not vice versa. The results are discussed in respect to recent accounts of action understanding.

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Available from: Patric Bach
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    • "Previous studies observed a hierarchical organization between dimensions (i.e., an irrelevant dimension was only considered when another dimension was matching). For example, Bach et al. (2005) found that mismatching spatial information slowed down only the judgment of functionally correct actions. A similar result was obtained by van Elk et al. (2008): observation of irrelevant goal-or grip-related violations interfered with making decisions about the correctness of the relevant dimension only when the relevant dimension was correct. "
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    • "ried out " , until emulation and visual input overlap and the prediction error is minimal. In such views, therefore, the firing of mirror neurons is interpreted not as the autonomous detection of an action goal (Rizzolatti and Craighero, 2004), but as the detection of a predicted motor act that is in line with a previously inferred action goal (cf. Bach et al., 2005 Bach et al., , 2010b ). The affordancematching hypothesis agrees with these general ideas. Both of these prior views, however, are relatively vague about how contextual information influences prediction and interpretation. With the notion of coupled function and manipulation knowledge, the affordance-matching hypothesis introduces a spe"
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    • "Before the experiment, participants rated the objects with regard to (a) how painful they would be to touch and (b) to what degree they judged this from personal experience on a five-point scale anchored by the terms “very much” and “not at all” [adapted from a questionnaire described in detail in Bach et al., 2005; see also Bach et al., 2010]. Each subject performed two runs of the experiment, lasting for about 12 min each. "
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