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How hands shape the mind: The P400 as an index of manual actions and gesture perception
Uppsala universitet, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för psykologi.
2018 (Engelska)Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
Abstract [en]

Being able to perform and understand actions is crucial for proper functioning in the social world. From birth, we use our bodies to act and to promote learning about ourselves, our environment and other people’s actions and intentions. Our mind is embodied; thus, our actions play a crucial role in cognitive and social development.

This thesis focuses on the close interrelation between action and perception and the role of our hands in this link. Three empirical studies on action processing are presented in a framework of embodied cognition that emphasises the role of bodily experience in social development. All three studies were designed to measure event-related potentials (ERPs) in infants 4 to 9 months old, when they observed manual actions, grasping and the give-me gesture.

Study I demonstrates the neural underpinnings of infants’ action–perception link at the age when their ability to grasp for objects in a functional manner emerges. Neural processing has been found to be influenced by infants’ own manual experience of exactly the same grasping action.

Study II reveals that brief active motor training with goal-directed actions, even before the solid motor plans for grasping are developed, facilitates processing of others’ goal-directed actions.

Study III shows that the same neural correlate that indexes processing of reaching actions is involved in encoding of the give-me gesture, a type of non-verbal communication that conveys a request. This ability was found not to be directly dependent on the infants’ own ability to respond behaviourally to another person’s gesture.

This thesis pinpoints the neural correlate, P400, involved in the processing of goal-directed actions and gestures. The findings highlight the importance of motor experience, as well as the involvement of attentional processes in action processing. Additionally, the data from Study III may suggest a possible involvement of grasping skills in encoding non-verbal communicative gestures.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2018. , s. 92
Serie
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Social Sciences, ISSN 1652-9030 ; 159
Nyckelord [en]
goal-directed actions, action processing, EEG, ERP, P400, gestures, grasping, embodiment, social development, give-me gesture, dynamic system theory
Nationell ämneskategori
Samhällsvetenskap
Forskningsämne
Psykologi
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-358475ISBN: 978-91-513-0431-1 (tryckt)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-358475DiVA, id: diva2:1242900
Disputation
2018-10-19, Auditorium Minus, Gustavianum, Akademigatan 3, Uppsala, 13:00 (Engelska)
Opponent
Handledare
Tillgänglig från: 2018-09-27 Skapad: 2018-08-29 Senast uppdaterad: 2018-10-16
Delarbeten
1. Neural correlates of action perception at the onset of functional grasping
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Neural correlates of action perception at the onset of functional grasping
2015 (Engelska)Ingår i: Social Cognitive & Affective Neuroscience, ISSN 1749-5016, E-ISSN 1749-5024, Vol. 10, nr 6, s. 769-796Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) Published
Abstract [en]

Event-related potentials were recorded while infants observe congruent or incongruent grasping actions at the age when organized grasping first emerges (4-6 months of age). We demonstrate that the event-related potential component P400 encodes the congruency of power grasps at the age of 6 months (Experiment 1) and in 5-month-old infants that have developed the ability to use power grasps (Experiment 2). This effect does not extend to precision grasps, which infants cannot perform (Experiment 3). Our findings suggest that infants' encoding of the relationship between an object and a grasping hand (the action-perception link) is highly specialized to actions and manual configurations of actions that infants are able to perform.

Nyckelord
grasping, experience, infant, P400, event-related potential
Nationell ämneskategori
Psykologi
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-258358 (URN)10.1093/scan/nsu119 (DOI)000356272800002 ()25193947 (PubMedID)
Tillgänglig från: 2015-07-13 Skapad: 2015-07-13 Senast uppdaterad: 2018-08-29Bibliografiskt granskad
2. Enhanced neural processing of goal-directed actions during active training in 4-month-old infants
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Enhanced neural processing of goal-directed actions during active training in 4-month-old infants
2016 (Engelska)Ingår i: Journal of cognitive neuroscience, ISSN 0898-929X, E-ISSN 1530-8898, Vol. 28, nr 3, s. 472-482Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) Published
Abstract [en]

The current study explores the neural correlates of action perception and its relation to infants' active experience performing goal-directed actions. Study 1 provided active training with sticky mittens that enables grasping and object manipulation in prereaching 4-month-olds. After training, EEG was recorded while infants observed images of hands grasping toward (congruent) or away from (incongruent) objects. We demonstrate that brief active training facilitates social perception as indexed by larger amplitude of the P400 ERP component to congruent compared with incongruent trials. Study 2 presented 4-month-old infants with passive training in which they observed an experimenter perform goal-directed reaching actions, followed by an identical ERP session to that used in Study 1. The second study did not demonstrate any differentiation between congruent and incongruent trials. These results suggest that (1) active experience alters the brains' response to goal-directed actions performed by others and (2) visual exposure alone is not sufficient in developing the neural networks subserving goal processing during action observation in infancy.

Nationell ämneskategori
Psykologi
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-270101 (URN)10.1162/jocn_a_00909 (DOI)000369760000009 ()26679217 (PubMedID)
Forskningsfinansiär
EU, Europeiska forskningsrådet, CACTUS 312292Knut och Alice Wallenbergs Stiftelse, KWA 2012.0120
Tillgänglig från: 2015-12-21 Skapad: 2015-12-21 Senast uppdaterad: 2018-08-29Bibliografiskt granskad
3. The neural basis of non-verbal communication - enhanced processing of perceived give-me gestures in 9-month-old girls
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>The neural basis of non-verbal communication - enhanced processing of perceived give-me gestures in 9-month-old girls
Visa övriga...
2015 (Engelska)Ingår i: Frontiers in Psychology, ISSN 1664-1078, E-ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 6, s. 59-Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) Published
Abstract [en]

This study investigated the neural basis of non-verbal communication. Event-related potentials were recorded while 29 nine-month-old infants were presented with a give me gesture (experimental condition) and the same hand shape but rotated 90 degrees, resulting in a non-communicative hand configuration (control condition). We found different responses in amplitude between the two conditions, captured in the P400 ERR component. Moreover, the size of this effect was modulated by participants' sex, with girls generally demonstrating a larger relative difference between the two conditions than boys.

Nyckelord
give-me gesture, ERP, P400, sex differences, non-verbal communication, social perception, infancy
Nationell ämneskategori
Psykologi
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-246336 (URN)10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00059 (DOI)000348913300001 ()25705196 (PubMedID)
Tillgänglig från: 2015-03-10 Skapad: 2015-03-05 Senast uppdaterad: 2018-08-29

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