Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Linguistics & Cognitive Science

Reader 1

Deborah Burke

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2016 Harrison M. Goodall


Previous studies have established that when a subject’s attention is directed to a specific body part, the subject is able to move that body part faster than a body part their attention was not drawn to. This is known as the body compatibility effect, and it has been shown that this effect only occurs when viewing upright images of the human body. In this study, we presented control subjects and expert acrobats with inverted and upright stimuli. We hypothesized that the amount of time the acrobats spent inverted would result in the acrobats exhibiting body compatibility effects for both upright and inverted stimuli. Compatibility effects were observed in the upright condition for both groups, but neither group exhibited any compatibility effects in the inverted position. Unexpectedly the acrobats responded significantly faster to incongruent trials compared to the control subjects, leading to the conclusion that there must be some form of priming occurring concurrently with the body compatibility task allowing the acrobats to respond faster than the control participants.