Perceptual adaptation and the representation of human actions
Dr Nick Barraclough
2D3, Priory Road Complex, 12a Priory RD
Perception of human actions allows us to understand another individual’s goals, intentions and beliefs about their physical and social environment. However, exposure to a stimulus results in adaptation which can profoundly influence subsequent perception of the stimulus. Observing actions results in perceptual aftereffects where subsequent perception of actions is biased. These action aftereffects can be used to examine action processing mechanisms, and psychophysical findings parallel neural mechanisms revealed during single cell recording in the monkey. Action aftereffects show many of the characteristics of low- and high-level perceptual aftereffects and also occur when viewing life-sized photorealistic actors presented in stereoscopic 3D in naturalistic environments. Action adaptation transfers across modalities. Visual action adaptation not only biases auditory action perception, but enhances auditory action discrimination. Together these results indicate that adaptation appears to be a ubiquitous mechanism for optimising perceptual processing of multisensory social stimuli.
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