Perceptual Science Series

Action Perception: The motor-imperialist's perspective

Dr. Guenther Knoblich

Monday, November 13, 2006, 01:00pm - 02:00pm

Rutgers University, Department of Psychology, Newark

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Many perceptual scientists work under the assumption that the perceptual system is relatively independent from the motor system. I will present four lines of empirical research challenging this assumption: First, I will demonstrate that the motor laws holding in action execution also hold in action perception. Second, I will show that motor expertise affects action perception. Third, I will demonstrate that our own previous actions are a special object of perception. Finally, I will present evidence that people with an impaired body schema have trouble deriving kinematic cues from observed actions. All of these results suggest that the motor system plays an important role in shaping perception.

Dr. Guenther Knoblich