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Methodological problems undermine tests of the ideo-motor conjecture

Jansson, E., Wilson, A.D., Williams, J.H.G. and Mon-Williams, M. (2007) Methodological problems undermine tests of the ideo-motor conjecture. Experimental Brain Research, 182 (4). pp. 549-558. ISSN 0014-4819

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Recent behavioural research has investigated whether viewing someone perform an action results in activation of that action by the observer. Postulated empirical support for this ‘ideo-motor (IM) conjecture’ typically rests upon two types of experimental paradigm (reaction time and movement tracking tasks). These paradigms purport to show movement facilitation when compatible movements are observed and vice versa, but only for biological stimuli. Unfortunately, these paradigms often contain confounding (and unavoidable) generic stimulus–response compatibility effects that are not restricted to observed human movement. The current study demonstrates in three experiments that equivalent compatibility effects can be produced by non-biological stimuli. These results suggest that existing empirical paradigms may not, and perhaps cannot, support the IM-conjecture.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © Springer-Verlag 2007. This is an author produced version of a paper published in 'Experimental Brain Research'. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy.
Keywords: ideo-motor theory; stimulus-response compatibility
Institution: The University of Leeds
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Medicine and Health (Leeds) > School of Psychology (Leeds) > Cognitive Psychology (Leeds)
The University of Leeds > Faculty of Biological Sciences (Leeds) > Institute of Membrane and Systems Biology (Leeds) > Cardiovascular and Sports Sciences Group (Leeds)
Depositing User: Repository Officer
Date Deposited: 19 Jun 2009 09:11
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2013 17:06
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00221-007-1013-1
Status: Published
Publisher: Spinger Verlag
Identification Number: 10.1007/s00221-007-1013-1
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/8660

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