Kinaesthetic cues when predicting the outcomes of the actions of others.

H. Nakamoto, T. Higuchi, D.L. Mann

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


© 2021 American Psychological AssociationPeople can accurately predict others’ action outcomes. To do so, recent studies have proposed that skilled athletes rely preferentially on sensorimotor resonance mechanisms that simulate—in their own motor system—the actions of others. However, little is known about which types of information are simulated for prediction. Here, we used a movement-illusion that selectively affected kinaesthetic sensation to investigate whether athletes use kinaesthetic information for simulation when predicting action outcomes. Nine skilled and 9 less-skilled right-handed basketball players predicted the outcomes of basketball shots when viewing an occluded video of another right-handed player’s shots in each of 3 conditions: (a) observation alone (control), (b) observation + vibration-induced illusory kinaesthetic sensation in the right-wrist (effector vibration), and (c) observation + vibration in the left-wrist (noneffector vibration). Results revealed that the enhanced prediction of skilled players in the control condition was eliminated in the effector vibration condition but not in the noneffector condition. Additionally, when participants made correct predictions, their subjective feeling of wrist-flexion induced by vibration became larger when participants observed the longer shot in the effector condition but not the noneffector condition. The results suggest that skilled players use limb-specific kinaesthetic information, when it is available, as a means of predicting the action outcomes of others. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved) <strong xmlns:lang="en">Public Significance Statement—This study shows that when predicting the outcomes of the actions of others (e.g., a basketball free throw), skilled athletes simulate the kinaesthetic information experienced by others in their own sensory-motor system to maximize their prediction accuracy. The study suggests that a skilled athlete’s perceptual understanding of others’ actions needs not only perceptual experience learned when observing actions, but also intensive motor experiences learned when actually performing the action. The study shows that outcome predictions in skilled athletes are achieved by more informational variables than previously thought, and recommends further studies into understanding the conditions in which particular informational sources are most important for predicting action outcomes. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)565-577
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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