Behavioral speed contagion

Automatic modulation of movement timing by observation of body movements

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

To coordinate our actions with those of others, it is crucial to not only choose an appropriate category of action but also to execute it at an appropriate timing. It is widely documented that people tend to unconsciously mimic others' behavior. The present study show that people also tend to modify their movement timing according to others' movements even when the observed and the to-be-executed movements are unrelated. Observers viewed either point-light biological motion, scrambled biological motion, or solid object motion. The stimulus sequence was presented at three different (half, normal, and double) rates. After a 300-2400-ms blank period, the observers performed a simple choice reaction-time task that was unrelated to the presented stimulus sequence. The observation of the biological motion produced a negative correlation between reaction time and stimulus speed, whereas no such trend was observed with the scrambled or solid object motion. Furthermore, speed-dependent modulation occurred only when the task was imposed within approximately 1 s after the offset of the biological motion. These results suggest that behavioral tempo may be contagious; the speed of others' movements may automatically influence the timing of movement execution by the observer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1514-1524
Number of pages11
JournalCognition
Volume106
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Mar
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

stimulus
Observation
trend
Contagion
Body Movement
Modulation
Biological Motion
Light
time
Stimulus
Observer
Reaction Time

Keywords

  • Biological motion
  • Imitation
  • Reaction time

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language

Cite this

Behavioral speed contagion : Automatic modulation of movement timing by observation of body movements. / Watanabe, Katsumi.

In: Cognition, Vol. 106, No. 3, 03.2008, p. 1514-1524.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{a51e8cf2a3174f76941a9733342e234a,
title = "Behavioral speed contagion: Automatic modulation of movement timing by observation of body movements",
abstract = "To coordinate our actions with those of others, it is crucial to not only choose an appropriate category of action but also to execute it at an appropriate timing. It is widely documented that people tend to unconsciously mimic others' behavior. The present study show that people also tend to modify their movement timing according to others' movements even when the observed and the to-be-executed movements are unrelated. Observers viewed either point-light biological motion, scrambled biological motion, or solid object motion. The stimulus sequence was presented at three different (half, normal, and double) rates. After a 300-2400-ms blank period, the observers performed a simple choice reaction-time task that was unrelated to the presented stimulus sequence. The observation of the biological motion produced a negative correlation between reaction time and stimulus speed, whereas no such trend was observed with the scrambled or solid object motion. Furthermore, speed-dependent modulation occurred only when the task was imposed within approximately 1 s after the offset of the biological motion. These results suggest that behavioral tempo may be contagious; the speed of others' movements may automatically influence the timing of movement execution by the observer.",
keywords = "Biological motion, Imitation, Reaction time",
author = "Katsumi Watanabe",
year = "2008",
month = "3",
doi = "10.1016/j.cognition.2007.06.001",
language = "English",
volume = "106",
pages = "1514--1524",
journal = "Cognition",
issn = "0010-0277",
publisher = "Elsevier",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Behavioral speed contagion

T2 - Automatic modulation of movement timing by observation of body movements

AU - Watanabe, Katsumi

PY - 2008/3

Y1 - 2008/3

N2 - To coordinate our actions with those of others, it is crucial to not only choose an appropriate category of action but also to execute it at an appropriate timing. It is widely documented that people tend to unconsciously mimic others' behavior. The present study show that people also tend to modify their movement timing according to others' movements even when the observed and the to-be-executed movements are unrelated. Observers viewed either point-light biological motion, scrambled biological motion, or solid object motion. The stimulus sequence was presented at three different (half, normal, and double) rates. After a 300-2400-ms blank period, the observers performed a simple choice reaction-time task that was unrelated to the presented stimulus sequence. The observation of the biological motion produced a negative correlation between reaction time and stimulus speed, whereas no such trend was observed with the scrambled or solid object motion. Furthermore, speed-dependent modulation occurred only when the task was imposed within approximately 1 s after the offset of the biological motion. These results suggest that behavioral tempo may be contagious; the speed of others' movements may automatically influence the timing of movement execution by the observer.

AB - To coordinate our actions with those of others, it is crucial to not only choose an appropriate category of action but also to execute it at an appropriate timing. It is widely documented that people tend to unconsciously mimic others' behavior. The present study show that people also tend to modify their movement timing according to others' movements even when the observed and the to-be-executed movements are unrelated. Observers viewed either point-light biological motion, scrambled biological motion, or solid object motion. The stimulus sequence was presented at three different (half, normal, and double) rates. After a 300-2400-ms blank period, the observers performed a simple choice reaction-time task that was unrelated to the presented stimulus sequence. The observation of the biological motion produced a negative correlation between reaction time and stimulus speed, whereas no such trend was observed with the scrambled or solid object motion. Furthermore, speed-dependent modulation occurred only when the task was imposed within approximately 1 s after the offset of the biological motion. These results suggest that behavioral tempo may be contagious; the speed of others' movements may automatically influence the timing of movement execution by the observer.

KW - Biological motion

KW - Imitation

KW - Reaction time

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=38649124025&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=38649124025&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.cognition.2007.06.001

DO - 10.1016/j.cognition.2007.06.001

M3 - Article

VL - 106

SP - 1514

EP - 1524

JO - Cognition

JF - Cognition

SN - 0010-0277

IS - 3

ER -