The concept of property is integral to personal and societal development, yet understanding of the cognitive basis of ownership is limited. Objects are the most basic form of property, so our physical interactions with owned objects may elucidate nuanced aspects of ownership. We gave participants a coffee mug to decorate, use and keep. The experimenter also designed a mug of her own. In Experiment 1, participants performed natural lifting actions with each mug. Participants lifted the Experimenter’s mug with greater care, (...) and moved it slightly more towards the Experimenter, while they lifted their own mug more forcefully and drew it closer to their own body. In Experiment 2, participants responded to stimuli presented on the mug handles in a computer-based stimulus–response compatibility task. Overall, participants were faster to respond in trials in which the handles were facing in the same direction as the response location compared to when the handles were facing away. The compatibility effect was abolished, however, for the Experimenter’s mug – as if the action system is blind to the potential for action towards another person’s property. These findings demonstrate that knowledge of the ownership status of objects influences visuomotor processing in subtle and revealing ways. (shrink)
People tend to prefer fluently processed over harder to process information. In this study we examine two issues concerning fluency and preference. First, previous research has pre-selected fluent and non-fluent materials. We did not take this approach yet show that the fluency of individuals’ idiosyncratic on-line interactions with a given stimulus can influence preference formation. Second, while processing fluency influences preference, the opposite also may be true: preferred stimuli could be processed more fluently than non-preferred. Participants performed a visual search (...) task either before or after indicating their preferred images from an array of either paintings by Kandinsky or decorated coffee mugs. Preferred stimuli were associated with fluent processing, reflected in facilitated search times. Critically, this was only the case for participants who gave their preferences after completing the visual search task, not for those stating preferences prior to the visual search task. Our results suggest that the spontaneous and idiosyncratic experience of processing fluency plays a role in forming preference judgments and conversely that our first impressions of preference do not drive response fluency. (shrink)
In the current study we look at whether subjective and proprioceptive aspects of selfrepresentation are separable components subserved by distinct systems of multisensory integration. We used the rubber hand illusion to draw the location of the ‘self’ away from the body, towards extracorporeal space , thereby violating top-down information about the body location. This was compared with the traditional RHI which drew position of the ‘self’ towards the body . We were successfully able to draw proprioceptive position of the limbs (...) in and out from the body suggesting body perception is a purely bottom-up process, resistant to top-down effects. Conversely, we found subjective self-representation was altered by the violation of top-down body information – as the strong association of subjective and proprioceptive factors found in the In Condition became non-significant in the Out Condition. Interestingly, we also found evidence that subjective embodiment can modulate tactile perception. (shrink)
The Theory of Event Coding (TEC) provides a preliminary account of the interaction between perception and action, which is consistent with several recent findings in the area of motor control. Significant issues require integration and elaboration, however; particularly, distractor interference, automatic motor corrections, internal models of action, and neuroanatomical bases for the link between perception and action.
Reciprocity is a decisive behavioural rule resulting in successful co-operation or deterrence. In this paper, a dynamic model is proposed, where reciprocity is described by changes in altruistic (or malevolent) ties. Multiple steady states may exist in one of which there may be general cooperation (solidarity) and the other being one of universal malice (war of each individual against all other individuals). We apply our theory to a number of examples, illustrating that the agents’ initial preferences determine whether a steady (...) state of solidarity, selfishness or malice will emerge. (shrink)