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Department of Cognitive Science

Action synchronization with biological motion

Lincoln J. Colling (
William F. Thompson (
John Sutton (
Music, Sound and Performance Laboratory and Macquarie Centre for Cognitive Science


The ability to predict the actions of other agents is vital for joint action tasks. Recent theory suggests that action predic-tion relies on an emulator system that permits observers to use information about their own motor dynamics to predict the ac-tions of other agents. If this is the case, then predictions for self-generated actions should be more accurate than predictions for other-generated actions. We tested this hypothesis by employing a self/other synchronization paradigm where pre-diction accuracy for recording of self-generated movements was compared with prediction accuracy for other-generated movements. As expected, predictions were more accurate when the observer's movement dynamics matched the move-ment dynamics of the recording. This is consistent with that idea that the observer's movement dynamics influence the predictions they generate

Citation details for this article:

Colling, L., Thompson, W., Sutton, J. (2010). Action syn-chronization with biological motion. In W. Christensen, E. Schier, and J. Sutton (Eds.), ASCS09: Proceedings of the 9th Conference of the Australasian Society for Cognitive Science (pp. 49-56). Sydney: Macquarie Centre for Cogni-tive Science.

DOI: 10.5096/ASCS20098
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