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Akila Kadambi, Hongjing Lu; Individual Differences in Self-recognition from Body Movements. Journal of Vision 2018;18(10):1039. doi: 10.1167/18.10.1039.
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Since we rarely view our own body movements in our daily lives, understanding the recognition of self-body movements can shed light on the core of self-awareness and on the representation of actions. Previous research has revealed that people can achieve above-chance level performance in identifying themselves from impoverished point-light actions. However, little work has investigated possible individual differences in the ability to accomplish self-recognition with actions, and how such differences may relate to other abilities and traits (e.g., autistic traits, schizophrenic traits, and motor imagery ability).The present study first recorded 9 simple and 9 complex actions performed by individual participants, who also subsequently observed 9 videos displayed on the screen, and imitated these actions. After a delay period of 35-40 days, participants were asked to identify their own-body movements presented as point-light displays among 3 other actors who performed the same actions. Participants were able to reliably recognize themselves solely based on kinematics in point-light displays. However, self-recognition accuracy varied according to the complexity of performed actions, with more accurate self-recognition for complex than simple actions. Success in self-recognition with simple actions showed a significant relation with autistic traits (poorer self-recognition accuracy for those more autistic traits), with schizophrenic traits (participants with roughly median degree of schizophrenia traits performed better than participants at the extremes), and with motor imagery traits (increased self-recognition accuracy with greater internal motor imagery). We also found that participants did not recognize actions based only on visual experience, but could identify their self-generated actions that required motor experience, underscoring the importance of motor experience to the representation of own-body movements. Overall, the present study showed that the perceptual representation of self-generated actions is affected by the degree of autistic and schizophrenic traits, as well as by the interplay of visual and motor experience.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2018
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