August 2014
Volume 14, Issue 10
Free
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   August 2014
Social interaction recognition: the whole is not greater than the sum of its parts
Author Affiliations
  • Stephan de la Rosa
    Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany
  • George Fuller
    Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany
  • Heinrich Bülthoff
    Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany
Journal of Vision August 2014, Vol.14, 1005. doi:10.1167/14.10.1005
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      Stephan de la Rosa, George Fuller, Heinrich Bülthoff; Social interaction recognition: the whole is not greater than the sum of its parts. Journal of Vision 2014;14(10):1005. doi: 10.1167/14.10.1005.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

Physical interactions with other people (social interactions) are an integral part of human social life. Surprisingly, little is known about the visual processes underlying social interaction recognition. Many studies have examined visual processes underlying the recognition of individual actions and only a few examined the visual recognition of social interactions (Dittrich, 1993; de la Rosa et al. 2013, Neri et al. 2007; Manera et al. 2011a,b). An important question concerns to what degree the recognition of individual actions and social interactions share visual processes. We addressed this question in two experiments (15 participants each) using a visual adaptation paradigm in which participants saw an action (handshake or high 5) carried out by one individual (individual action) for a prolonged amount of time during the adaptation period. According to previous adaptation results, we expected that the subsequent perception of an ambiguous test stimulus (an action-morph between handshake and high 5) would be biased away from the adapting stimulus (action adaptation aftereffect (AAA)). Using these stimuli, participants were adapted to individual actions and tested on individual actions in experiment 1. In line with previous studies, we expected an adaptation effect in experiment 1. In experiment 2, participants were adapted to individual actions and tested on social interactions (two instead of one individual carrying out the actions of experiment 1). If social interaction recognition requires completely different or additional visual processes to the ones employed in the recognition of individual actions, we expected the AAA in experiment 2 to be absent or smaller than in experiment 1. In contrast, we found a significant AAA in both experiments (p<0.001) that did not differ across the two experiments (p=0.130). Social interaction and individual action recognition seem to be based on similar visual processes if paying attention to the interaction is not enforced.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2014

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