The origin of the biomechanical bias in apparent body movement perception

Citation:

Vannuscorps, G., & Caramazza, A. (2016). The origin of the biomechanical bias in apparent body movement perception. Neuropsychologia.

Abstract:

The perception of apparent body movement sometimes follows biologically plausible paths rather than paths along the shortest distance as in the case for inanimate objects. For numerous authors, this demonstrates that the somatosensory and motor representations of the observer's own body support and constrain the perception of others’ body movements. In this paper, we report evidence that calls for a re-examination of this account. We presented an apparent upper limb movement perception task to typically developed participants and five individuals born without upper limbs who were, therefore, totally deprived of somatosensory or motor representations of those limbs. Like the typically developed participants, they showed the typical bias toward long and biomechanically plausible path. This finding suggests that the computations underlying the biomechanical bias in apparent body movement perception is intrinsic to the visual system.