The Magic Grasp: Motor Expertise in Deception

Cavina-Pratesi, Cristiana, Kuhn, Gustav, Ietswaart, Magdalena and Milner, David (2011) The Magic Grasp: Motor Expertise in Deception. PLoS ONE, 6 (2). e16568. ISSN 1932-6203

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Most of us are poor at faking actions. Kinematic studies have shown that when pretending to pick up imagined objects (pantomimed actions), we move and shape our hands quite differently from when grasping real ones. These differences between real and pantomimed actions have been linked to separate brain pathways specialized for different kinds of visuomotor guidance. Yet professional magicians regularly use pantomimed actions to deceive audiences.
In this study, we tested whether, despite their skill, magicians might still show kinematic differences between grasping actions made toward real versus imagined objects. We found that their pantomimed actions in fact closely resembled real grasps when the object was visible (but displaced) (Experiment 1), but failed to do so when the object was absent (Experiment 2).
We suggest that although the occipito-parietal visuomotor system in the dorsal stream is designed to guide goal-directed actions, prolonged practice may enable it to calibrate actions based on visual inputs displaced from the action.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: visual control, handedness
Subjects: B900 Others in Subjects allied to Medicine
C800 Psychology
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Psychology
Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation
Depositing User: Ay Okpokam
Date Deposited: 22 Dec 2011 15:18
Last Modified: 26 Oct 2017 10:23

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