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Automatic versus voluntary motor imitation: effect of visual context and stimulus velocity.

Bisio A, Stucchi N, Jacono M, Fadiga L, Pozzo T - PLoS ONE (2010)

Bottom Line: The present study was designed to understand if the kinematics of a previously seen stimulus primes the executed action, and if this effect is sensitive to the kinds of stimuli presented.Despite that the performance, in term of reproduced velocity, improved in a context of voluntary imitation, subjects did not replicate the observed motions exactly.These effects were not affected by the kind of stimuli used, i.e., motor responses were influenced in the same manner after dot or human observation.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Robotics, Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Italian Institute of Technology, Genova, Italy. ambra.bisio@iit.it

ABSTRACT
Automatic imitation is the tendency to reproduce observed actions involuntarily. Though this topic has been widely treated, at present little is known about the automatic imitation of the kinematic features of an observed movement. The present study was designed to understand if the kinematics of a previously seen stimulus primes the executed action, and if this effect is sensitive to the kinds of stimuli presented. We proposed a simple imitation paradigm in which a dot or a human demonstrator moved in front of the participant who was instructed either to reach the final position of the stimulus or to imitate its motion with his or her right arm. Participants' movements were automatically contaminated by stimulus velocity when it moved according to biological laws, suggesting that automatic imitation was kinematic dependent. Despite that the performance, in term of reproduced velocity, improved in a context of voluntary imitation, subjects did not replicate the observed motions exactly. These effects were not affected by the kind of stimuli used, i.e., motor responses were influenced in the same manner after dot or human observation. These findings support the existence of low-level sensory-motor matching mechanisms that work on movement planning and represent the basis for higher levels of social interaction.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Differences in movement execution after the observation of biological (red circles) and non-biological (violating biological laws, green circles) motions: linear relationship between participant (y-axis) and stimuli velocities (x-axis) for upward movements in implicit task.The circles represent participants' movement velocities after observing the moving stimuli and the vertical error bars refer to the standard deviations values. The dashed lines are the results of the linear regression model applied on the data.
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pone-0013506-g004: Differences in movement execution after the observation of biological (red circles) and non-biological (violating biological laws, green circles) motions: linear relationship between participant (y-axis) and stimuli velocities (x-axis) for upward movements in implicit task.The circles represent participants' movement velocities after observing the moving stimuli and the vertical error bars refer to the standard deviations values. The dashed lines are the results of the linear regression model applied on the data.

Mentions: Figure 4 illustrates the results. The one-way ANOVA on participants mean velocity did not reveal any significant effect of the factor Velocity. Conversely, the one-way ANOVA on the slopes of the biological (slope = 0.14) and non-biological (slope = 0.06) linear fits revealed a significant effect of the factor Kinematic (F(1,17) = 8.09, p = 0.01). This indicated that participants' motor performances were affected by motion kinematics.


Automatic versus voluntary motor imitation: effect of visual context and stimulus velocity.

Bisio A, Stucchi N, Jacono M, Fadiga L, Pozzo T - PLoS ONE (2010)

Differences in movement execution after the observation of biological (red circles) and non-biological (violating biological laws, green circles) motions: linear relationship between participant (y-axis) and stimuli velocities (x-axis) for upward movements in implicit task.The circles represent participants' movement velocities after observing the moving stimuli and the vertical error bars refer to the standard deviations values. The dashed lines are the results of the linear regression model applied on the data.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2958128&req=5

pone-0013506-g004: Differences in movement execution after the observation of biological (red circles) and non-biological (violating biological laws, green circles) motions: linear relationship between participant (y-axis) and stimuli velocities (x-axis) for upward movements in implicit task.The circles represent participants' movement velocities after observing the moving stimuli and the vertical error bars refer to the standard deviations values. The dashed lines are the results of the linear regression model applied on the data.
Mentions: Figure 4 illustrates the results. The one-way ANOVA on participants mean velocity did not reveal any significant effect of the factor Velocity. Conversely, the one-way ANOVA on the slopes of the biological (slope = 0.14) and non-biological (slope = 0.06) linear fits revealed a significant effect of the factor Kinematic (F(1,17) = 8.09, p = 0.01). This indicated that participants' motor performances were affected by motion kinematics.

Bottom Line: The present study was designed to understand if the kinematics of a previously seen stimulus primes the executed action, and if this effect is sensitive to the kinds of stimuli presented.Despite that the performance, in term of reproduced velocity, improved in a context of voluntary imitation, subjects did not replicate the observed motions exactly.These effects were not affected by the kind of stimuli used, i.e., motor responses were influenced in the same manner after dot or human observation.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Robotics, Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Italian Institute of Technology, Genova, Italy. ambra.bisio@iit.it

ABSTRACT
Automatic imitation is the tendency to reproduce observed actions involuntarily. Though this topic has been widely treated, at present little is known about the automatic imitation of the kinematic features of an observed movement. The present study was designed to understand if the kinematics of a previously seen stimulus primes the executed action, and if this effect is sensitive to the kinds of stimuli presented. We proposed a simple imitation paradigm in which a dot or a human demonstrator moved in front of the participant who was instructed either to reach the final position of the stimulus or to imitate its motion with his or her right arm. Participants' movements were automatically contaminated by stimulus velocity when it moved according to biological laws, suggesting that automatic imitation was kinematic dependent. Despite that the performance, in term of reproduced velocity, improved in a context of voluntary imitation, subjects did not replicate the observed motions exactly. These effects were not affected by the kind of stimuli used, i.e., motor responses were influenced in the same manner after dot or human observation. These findings support the existence of low-level sensory-motor matching mechanisms that work on movement planning and represent the basis for higher levels of social interaction.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus