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Recognition of dance-like actions: memory for static posture or dynamic movement?

Vicary, S.A., Robbins, R.A., Calvo-Merino, B. and Stevens, C.J. (2014). Recognition of dance-like actions: memory for static posture or dynamic movement?. Memory & Cognition, 42(5), pp. 755-767. doi: 10.3758/s13421-014-0395-0

Abstract

Dance-like actions are complex visual stimuli involving multiple changes in body posture across time and space. Visual perception research has demonstrated a difference between the processing of dynamic body movement and the processing of static body posture. Yet, it is unclear whether this processing dissociation continues during the retention of body movement and body form in visual working memory (VWM). When observing a dance-like action, it is likely that static snapshot images of body posture will be retained alongside dynamic images of the complete motion. Therefore, we hypothesized that, as in perception, posture and movement would differ in VWM. Additionally, if body posture and body movement are separable in VWM, as form- and motion-based items, respectively, then differential interference from intervening form and motion tasks should occur during recognition. In two experiments, we examined these hypotheses. In Experiment 1, the recognition of postures and movements was tested in conditions in which the formats of the study and test stimuli matched (movement-study to movement-test, posture-study to posture-test) or mismatched (movement-study to posture-test, posture-study to movement-test). In Experiment 2, the recognition of postures and movements was compared after intervening form and motion tasks. These results indicated that (1) the recognition of body movement based only on posture is possible, but it is significantly poorer than recognition based on the entire movement stimulus, and (2) form-based interference does not impair memory for movements, although motion-based interference does. We concluded that, whereas static posture information is encoded during the observation of dance-like actions, body movement and body posture differ in VWM.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: visual memory; dance; visual perception; form; motion
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Departments: School of Arts & Social Sciences > Psychology
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/4525
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