Action During Body Perception: Processing Time Affects Self-other Correspondences

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Psychology (CMC)

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The accurate perception of other people and their postures is essential for functioning in a social world. Our own bodies organize information from others to help us respond appropriately by creating self–other mappings between bodies. In this study, we investigated mechanisms involved in the processing of self–other correspondences. Reed and Farah showed that a multimodal, articulated body representation containing the spatial relations among parts of the human body was accessed by both viewing another's body and moving one's own. Use of one part of the body representation facilitated the perception of homologous areas of other people's bodies, suggesting that inputs from both the self and other activated the shared body representation. Here we investigated whether this self–other correspondence produced rapid facilitation or required additional processing time to resolve competing inputs for a shared body representation. Using a modified Reed and Farah dual-task paradigm, we found that processing time influenced body-position memory: an interaction between body-part moved and body-part attended revealed a relative facilitation effect at the 5 s ISI, but interference at the 2 s ISI. Our results suggest that effective visual-motor integration from the self and other requires time to activate shared portions of the spatial body representation.

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