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Title: Spatiotemporal prediction of observed actions : contrasts between different frames of reference
Author: Brattan, Victoria
ISNI:       0000 0004 5919 4321
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2016
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Previous research has shown that in both non-human and human primates a network of neural regions exist that are engaged not only when we perform an action but also when we observe that same action being performed. This coupled action-perception system is argued to play a role in several areas of cognitive functioning, with this system being at least partially responsible for the prediction of observed actions. Despite much research surrounding this action-observation system (AON) there continues to be a large debate regarding the principal function of such a system. On the one hand, it is argued that the system allows the prediction and monitoring of one’s own actions for fine-grain motor control and kinematic adjustment. On the other hand, researchers argue that the system evolved for the monitoring of other’s actions, for social interaction purposes. Using dynamic transitive actions in the first person perspective (1PP) and third person perspective (3PP), in the series of studies that follow, we aim to determine whether the prediction system functions at an advantage when observing these dynamic images which map closely onto the observation of self-generated as opposed to other-generated actions. In all, the series of studies primarily highlight the importance of motor experience, enabling us to draw upon our motor repertoire to effectively simulate and accurately predict observed actions. Behavioural and EEG studies using a psychophysics method provide evidence that 1PP actions are advantageous to the prediction system following motor priming, suggesting the underlying neural mechanisms may have predominantly emerged for self-monitoring purposes. However, using a converging method, somewhat opposing results are found, which suggest motor experience can facilitate 3PP actions. When interpreting results to inform theories it is always essential to consider the experimental task employed to interrogate the matter at hand, and determine which underlying mechanisms the method may be drawing upon.
Supervisor: Tipper, Victoria Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available