City Research Online

Self-recognition of avatar motion: how do I know it's me?

Cook, R., Johnston, A. & Heyes, C. (2012). Self-recognition of avatar motion: how do I know it's me?. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 279(1729), pp. 669-674. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2011.1264


When motion is isolated from form cues and viewed from third-person perspectives, individuals are able to recognize their own whole body movements better than those of friends. Because we rarely see our own bodies in motion from third-person viewpoints, this self-recognition advantage may indicate a contribution to perception from the motor system. Our first experiment provides evidence that recognition of self-produced and friends' motion dissociate, with only the latter showing sensitivity to orientation. Through the use of selectively disrupted avatar motion, our second experiment shows that self-recognition of facial motion is mediated by knowledge of the local temporal characteristics of one's own actions. Specifically, inverted self-recognition was unaffected by disruption of feature configurations and trajectories, but eliminated by temporal distortion. While actors lack third-person visual experience of their actions, they have a lifetime of proprioceptive, somatosensory, vestibular and first-person-visual experience. These sources of contingent feedback may provide actors with knowledge about the temporal properties of their actions, potentially supporting recognition of characteristic rhythmic variation when viewing self-produced motion. In contrast, the ability to recognize the motion signatures of familiar others may be dependent on configural topographic cues.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: self-recognition; avatar; facial motion; inversion effect; mirror neurons
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
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