Does the intention to communicate affect action kinematics?

Consciousness and Cognition 18 (3):766-772 (2009)
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The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of communicative intention on action. In Experiment 1 participants were requested to reach towards an object, grasp it, and either simply lift it or lift it with the intent to communicate a meaning to a partner . Movement kinematics were recorded using a three-dimensional motion analysis system. The results indicate that kinematics was sensitive to communicative intention. Although the to-be-grasped object remained the same, movements performed for the ‘communicative’ condition were characterized by a kinematic pattern which differed from those obtained for the ‘individual’ condition. These findings were confirmed in a subsequent experiment in which the communicative condition was compared to a control condition, in which the communicative exchange was prevented. Results are discussed in terms of cognitive pragmatics and current knowledge on how social behavior shapes action kinematics



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