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Motion coordination affects movement parameters in a joint pick-and-place task

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This study examined influences of social context on movement parameters in a pick-and-place task. Participants’ motion trajectories were recorded while they performed sequences of natural movements either working side-by-side with a partner or alone. It was expected that movement parameters would be specifically adapted to the joint condition to overcome the difficulties arising from the requirement to coordinate with another person. To disentangle effects based on participants’ effort to coordinate their movements from effects merely due to the other’s presence, a condition was included where only one person performed the task while being observed by the partner. Results indicate that participants adapted their movements temporally and spatially to the joint action situation: Overall movement duration was shorter, and mean and maximum velocity was higher when actually working together than when working alone. Pick-to-place trajectories were also shifted away from the partner in spatial coordinates. The partner’s presence as such did not have an impact on movement parameters. These findings are interpreted as evidence for the use of implicit strategies to facilitate movement coordination in joint action tasks.
Original languageEnglish
JournalQuarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
Pages (from-to)2418-2432
Publication statusPublished - 2009

    Research areas

  • Joint Action, Movement control, interpersonal coordination, Social Facilitation, Social Cognition

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