The connection between action and perception
This thesis consists of three main studies that cover complementary aspects of action-to-perception transfer. In the recent decades, cognitive psychology has started a paradigm shift from its traditional approach to put the stimulus first and treat the action as response to a less one-directional vi...
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|Zusammenfassung:||This thesis consists of three main studies that cover complementary aspects of action-to-perception transfer. In the recent decades, cognitive psychology has started a paradigm shift from its traditional approach to put the stimulus first and treat the action as response to a less one-directional view of perception and action. Quite trivially, action influences perception by changing the external world: we move objects, we locomote or we move our sensory organs. More crucially, action also influences perception internally. Study II and III will address this question directly, by studying perceptual effects of action on physically unchanged stimuli. Study I deals with biological motion. I will argue that the perception of biological motion may present a naturalistic example for direct action-to-perception transfer. The cues of animate locomotion are detected rapidly and effortlessly, and allow quick retrieval of detailed information about the actor, as we related to our immense experience with moving our own bodies in ways that correspond to the physical “laws” which the dynamics of these cues represent. In sum, the studies reported in this thesis provide novel insight on shared action-perception representations, their perceptual consequences and their relation to cognitive models of the world. In Study I, we showed that biological motion cues distort the perceived size of the actor’s figure: a biological motion stimulus is perceived larger than matched control stimuli and lets subsequent stimuli appear smaller. Provided the importance of biological motion, this is in line with other studies that relate subjective importance to perceived size – however, the connection with animate motion has not been reported earlier. If there are shared action-perception representations, do they operate on different representational levels? In Study II, we coupled a stimulus that was in competition with another to action more or less strongly. While the degree of action-perception coupling did not affect overt reports of stimulus’ visibility, oculomotor measures were modulated. This suggests different degrees of action perception coupling on different representational levels, with varying access to awareness. Does in turn the internal cognitive model of the world penetrate action perception coupling? In Study III, we showed that the effect of action-perception congruency on perceptual stability critically depends on the internal cognitive model of action perception coupling. Studies II and III together indicate that no single mechanism or representation can account for all action-perception findings. In the general discussion, I will consider the needed adjustments to current models as well as alternative theoretical approaches.|