Research Repository

The role of transients in action observation

Cole, Geoff G and Welsh, Timothy N and Skarratt, Paul A (2019) 'The role of transients in action observation.' Attention, Perception and Psychophysics, 81 (7). pp. 2177-2191. ISSN 0031-5117

Cole_etal_APP_accepted.pdf - Accepted Version

Download (377kB) | Preview


A large number of studies have now described the various ways in which the observation of another person’s dynamic movement can influence the speed with which the observer is able to prepare a motor action themselves. The typical results are most often explained with reference to theories that link perception and action. Such theories argue that the cognitive structures associated with each share common representations. Consequently, action preparation and action observation are often said to be functionally equivalent. However, the dominance of these theories in explaining action observation effects has masked the potential contribution from processes associated with the detection of low-level “transients” resulting from observing a body movement, such as motion and sound. In the present review, we describe work undertaken in one particular action observation phenomenon (“social inhibition of return”) and show that the transient account provides the best explanation of the effect. We argue that future work should consider attention capture and orienting as a potential contributing factor to action observation effects more broadly.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Attentional capture; Inhibition of return; Motion; biological
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 12 Jan 2021 12:24
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 14:00

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item