2009 volume 38(4) pages 613 – 616

Cite as:
Reid R, Brooks A, Blair D, van der Zwan R, 2009, "Snap! Recognising implicit actions in static point-light displays" Perception 38(4) 613 – 616

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Snap! Recognising implicit actions in static point-light displays

Russell Reid, Anna Brooks, Duncan Blair, Rick van der Zwan

Abstract. Johansson (1973 Perception & Psychophysics 14 201 – 211) suggested that point-light displays that are static—so-called ‘snapshots’—contain little or no information about the actor or their action. Here we present data that suggest even naive observers can perceive such information from static point-light arrays. Observers were able, at rates better than chance, to discriminate the directions of facing of sagittally viewed static point-light walkers. The data show also that, without feedback, performances improved with experience. Our data have implications for assumptions made in designing experiments with point-light displays and for models of the neural mechanisms mediating biological motion perceptions.

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