The role of observers' gaze behaviour when watching object manipulation tasks: predicting and evaluating the consequences of action
2013 (English)In: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Biological Sciences, ISSN 0962-8436, Vol. 368, no 1628, 20130063- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
When watching an actor manipulate objects, observers, like the actor, naturally direct their gaze to each object as the hand approaches and typically maintain gaze on the object until the hand departs. Here, we probed the function of observers' eye movements, focusing on two possibilities: (i) that observers' gaze behaviour arises from processes involved in the prediction of the target object of the actor's reaching movement and (ii) that this gaze behaviour supports the evaluation of mechanical events that arise from interactions between the actor's hand and objects. Observers watched an actor reach for and lift one of two presented objects. The observers' task was either to predict the target object or judge its weight. Proactive gaze behaviour, similar to that seen in self-guided action-observation, was seen in the weight judgement task, which requires evaluating mechanical events associated with lifting, but not in the target prediction task. We submit that an important function of gaze behaviour in self-guided action observation is the evaluation of mechanical events associated with interactions between the hand and object. By comparing predicted and actual mechanical events, observers, like actors, can gain knowledge about the world, including information about objects they may subsequently act upon.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 368, no 1628, 20130063- p.
gaze behaviour, action – observation, object manipulation
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-83715DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2013.0063ISI: 000331224600011PubMedID: 24018725OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-83715DiVA: diva2:675981