Biological motion and animacy belief induce similar effects on involuntary shifts of attention
- 43 Downloads
Biological motion is salient to the human visual and motor systems and may be intrinsic to the perception of animacy. Evidence for the salience of visual stimuli moving with trajectories consistent with biological motion comes from studies showing that such stimuli can trigger shifts of attention in the direction of that motion. The present study was conducted to determine whether or not top-down beliefs about animacy can modify the salience of a nonbiologically moving stimulus to the visuomotor system. A nonpredictive cuing task was used in which a white dot moved from a central location toward a left- or right-sided target placeholder. The target randomly appeared at either location 200, 600, or 1,300 ms after the motion onset. Five groups of participants experienced different stimulus conditions: (1) biological motion, (2) inverted biological motion, (3) nonbiological motion, (4) animacy belief (paired with nonbiological motion), and (5) computer-generated belief (paired with nonbiological motion). Analysis of response times revealed that the motion in the biological motion and animacy belief groups, but not in the inverted and nonbiological motion groups, affected processing of the target information. These findings indicate that biological motion is salient to the visual system and that top-down beliefs regarding the animacy of the stimulus can tune the visual and motor systems to increase the salience of nonbiological motion.
KeywordsBiological motion Animacy Attention Social IOR Action observation
This project was partially funded by Australian Research Council Discovery Project 130100253 to A.K., and by an NSERC Discovery Grant to T.N.W. We thank Sebastian Rahe for collecting the data in the final condition. The data will be deposited as supplementary documents on ResearchGate.
- Bayliss, A. P., Murphy, E., Naughtin, C. K., Kritikos, A., Schilbach, L., & Becker, S. I. (2013). “Gaze leading”: Initiating simulated joint attention influences eye movements and choice behaviour. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 142, 76–92. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0029286 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Frischen, A., & Tipper, S. P. (2004). Orienting attention via observed gaze shift evokes longer term inhibitory effects: Implications for social interactions, attention, and memory. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 133, 516–533. https://doi.org/10.1037/0096-34184.108.40.2066 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Hommel, B., Chapman, C. S., Cisek, P., Neyedli, H. F., Song, J.-H., & Welsh T. N. (in press). No one knows what attention is. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics. Google Scholar
- Posner, M. I., & Cohen, Y. (1984). Components of visual orienting. In H. Bouma & G. G. Bouwhuis (Eds.), Attention and performance X: Control of language processes (pp. 531–554). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- Sparks, S., Douglas, T., & Kritikos, A. (2016). Verbal social primes alter motor contagion during action observation. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 69, 1041–1048. https://doi.org/10.1080/17470218.2015.1113304
- Sparks, S., Sidari, M., Lyons, M., & Kritikos, A. (2016). Pictures of you: Dot stimuli cause motor contagion in presence of a still human form. Consciousness and Cognition, 45, 135–145. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.concog.2016.08.004
- Welsh, T. N., Chandler-Mather, N., Sparks, S., & Kritikos, A. (2019). Title of paper. Manuscript in preparation.Google Scholar
- Welsh, T. N., Higgins, L., Ray, M., & Weeks, D. J. (2007). Seeing versus believing: Is believing sufficient to activate the processes of response co-representation? Human Movement Science, 26, 853–866. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.humov.2007.06.003
- Welsh, T. N., Lyons, J., Weeks, D. J., Anson, J. G., Chua, R., Mendoza, J., & Elliott, D. (2007). Within-and between-nervous-system inhibition of return: Observation is as good as performance. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 14, 950–956. https://doi.org/10.3758/BF03194127
- Welsh, T. N., & Weeks, D. J. (2010). Visual selective attention and action. In D. Elliott & M. A. Khan (Eds.), Vision and goal-directed movement: Neurobehavioral perspectives (pp. 39–58). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.Google Scholar