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Methodological issues in measures of imitative reaction times

Aicken, M.D., Wilson, A.D., Williams, J.H.G. and Mon-Williams, M. (2007) Methodological issues in measures of imitative reaction times. Brain and Cognition, 63 (3). pp. 304-308. ISSN 0278-2626

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Ideomotor (IM) theory suggests that observing someone else perform an action activates an internal motor representation of that behaviour within the observer. Evidence supporting the case for an ideomotor theory of imitation has come from studies that show imitative responses to be faster than the same behavioural measures performed in response to spatial cues. In an attempt to replicate these findings, we manipulated the salience of the visual cue and found that we could reverse the advantage of the imitative cue over the spatial cue. We suggest that participants utilised a simple visuomotor mechanism to perform all aspects of this task, with performance being driven by the relative visual salience of the stimuli. Imitation is a more complex motor skill that would constitute an inefficient strategy for rapid performance.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: Copyright © 2006 Elsevier Inc. This is an author produced version of a paper published in 'Brain and Cognition'. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy.
Keywords: imitation; social cognition; reaction time; ideomotor theory; human; mirror neurons; correspondence problem; motor control
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 09:27
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2013 17:06
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bandc.2006.09.005
Status: Published
Publisher: Elsevier
Identification Number: 10.1016/j.bandc.2006.09.005
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/8662

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