OS_07. Social cognition
Friday, September 30th, 2011 [10:50 - 11:50]
OS_07.1 - What are you looking at? Effects of the co-actor’s focus of attention on task performance
Böckler, A. , Knoblich, G. & Sebanz, N.
Donders Center for Brain, Cognition, and Behaviour, Nijmegen, NL
People take a co-actor’s perspective on a jointly attended scene into account and give up their egocentric view when the other’s spatial perspective is noticeably different. Present experiments investigated whether people’s performance is also affected by a co-actor’s focus of attention - even when spatial perspectives do not differ. Two participants were sitting next to each other while each performed a two-choice Navon task, responding to the identity of letters consisting of similar (congruent) or different (incongruent) smaller letters. Stimuli and responses of the two participants were kept independent. The critical manipulation concerned the focus of attention: participants either attended to the same aspect of the letters (e.g. both to the local aspect/small letters) or they attended to different aspects. Results revealed a significant slow-down of responses when participants focused on different aspects. This slow-down did not depend on participants attending to the same stimulus location, but the effect broke down when the other’s stimuli could not be perceived. An EEG-study revealed effects of the co-actor’s focus of attention on components related to attentional processing. Taken together, this may indicate that the co-actor’s different focus can’t be ignored and induces the need to re-focus on one’s own stimulus aspect.
OS_07.2 - When machines make errors: The role of simulation in error observation
Desmet, C. , Deschrijver, E. , Fias, W. & Brass, M.
Department of Experimental Psychology, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium
It has been observed that the posterior frontomedian cortex (pFMC) is not only sensitive to the production of errors but also to the observation of human errors. Some researchers explained this finding by arguing that we internally simulate observed errors. This would implicate that the pFMC is only sensitive to errors that can be simulated. In a recent fMRI study we tested this prediction by comparing brain activity related to human errors and machine errors. We showed that the pFMC was even more strongly activated by machine errors than by human errors. In other words, errors that cannot be simulated evoke larger activation in the pFMC than errors that can be simulated. Further, we showed than an unexpected event, not related to error processing, revealed the most extensive activity in the pFMC. In sum, our data contradict the simulation hypothesis and support a view where the pFMC is related to violations of expectations.
OS_07.3 - Interplay between prior and action intentions during social interaction
Ondobaka, S. 1 , de Lange, F. P. 1 , Newman-Norlund, R. D. 2 , Wiemers, M. 1 & Bekkering, H. 1
1 Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University Nijmegen
2 Department of Exercise Science, University of South Carolina
Observing the actions of another person influences planning and control of our own actions. However, little is known about how intentions formed prior to action planning influence this process. In the current experiment, we manipulated the congruency of action intentions and prior intentions in a pair of jointly acting individuals in a card-game situation and investigated how this influences performance. In general, actions were initiated faster when co-actors had the same prior intention, i.e., had to follow the same rule. We also observed an action intention congruency effect when their movements were directed to the same spatial location. Importantly, this action congruency effect was only present when co-actors had the same prior intention. These findings suggest the existence of a shared representation of own and others´ prior intentions, and argue for a dynamic, multi-tiered intentional mechanism involved in the processing of others’ actions.