Putting motor resonance in perspective.


PubMedID: 17662266

Lozano SC, Hard BM, Tversky B. Putting motor resonance in perspective. Cognition. 2008;106(3):1195-220.
Perceiving another person's actions changes the spatial perspective people use to describe objects in a scene, possibly because seeing human action induces people to map the actions, including their spatial context, to their own body and motor representations [Lozano, S. C., Hard, B. M., & Tversky, B. (2007). Putting action in perspective. Cognition 103, 480-490]. If so, then the effect of perceived action on perspective should be modulated by action experience. The present studies tested this prediction by showing participants a photograph and asking them to describe the location of one object relative to another. Across studies, adoption of the actor's perspective increased when participants saw actions that were more familiar or were performed with a limb (hand or foot) that observers had more experience performing actions with themselves. The present findings indicate that observers' experience performing observed actions influences their tendency to engage in self-other mapping, and consequently, their interpretations and descriptions of spatial scenes.