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Development of a Joint Body in a Transportation Task and Its Aftereffects

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http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons84240

Streuber,  S
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons83857

Chatziastros,  A
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Streuber, S., & Chatziastros, A. (2007). Development of a Joint Body in a Transportation Task and Its Aftereffects. Poster presented at 10th Tübinger Wahrnehmungskonferenz (TWK 2007), Tübingen, Germany.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-CCD7-1
Abstract
Coordinating our actions with those of others is a fundamental task in every day life and yet the process of its initiation, development, and termination remains relatively unexplored. While it is generally agreed upon that humans require a certain period of time to establish a wellfunctioning joint action behavior, it is an open question whether humans can switch back to individual behavior instantaneously. In our experiment we investigated the coordination parameters in the transition from individual behavior to joint action behavior and vice versa. We employed a large-scale (18x13m), immersive VR environment in which two subjects, equipped with head-mounted-displays and wireless connected laptops, can be tracked simultaneously (VICON tracking system) and interact with each other and additional objects. In this behavioral experiment two subjects were instructed to walkthrough a dynamically generated maze without colliding with the walls. In the first condition (Baseline Condition) subjects walked through the maze individually (20 min). In the second condition (Joint Action Condition) subjects had to transport a stretcher (length=2.5m) through the maze together (40 min). In the final condition (Follow Condition) the stretcher was simply removed, and the subject continued walking (10 min) while remaining a constant distance of 2.5m. Between the first and second condition subjects received a 15 minute break; however between the second and third no pause was made since the immediate aftereffects of the second condition were to be measured in the third condition. Path characteristics were specified by a) path length around each corner, b) the minimal distance to the corner, and c) a symmetry parameter which determines how much a subject’s path deviates from an ideal, symmetric track. Compared to the Baseline Condition, participants in the Joint Action Condition increased as expected their path length and their individual distance to the corner, and deviated from a symmetric path due to the extended physical boundaries. Furthermore, all three path characteristics in the Follow Condition showed greater similarities to the Joint Action than to the Baseline Condition. Even without the necessity for cooperation subjects continued to exhibit a behavior similar to the Joint Action Condition. This effect can be interpreted as an aftereffect to the adaptation of the subjects to the joint task, in which compensation was developed gradually. After prolonged joint action participation, subjects require a particular amount of time or exercise to return to independent walking behavior.