The quick and the dead: when reaction beats intention.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-review
Colleges, School and Institutes
Everyday behaviour involves a trade-off between planned actions and reaction to environmental events.Evidence from neurophysiology, neurology and functional brain imaging suggests different neural bases for the control of different movement types. Here we develop a behavioural paradigm to test movement dynamics for intentional versus reaction movements and provide evidence for a ‘reactive advantage’ in movement execution, whereby the same action is executed faster in reaction to an opponent. We placed pairs of participants in competition with each other to make a series of button presses. Within subject analysis of movement times revealed a 10 per cent benefit for reactive actions. This was maintained when opponents performed dissimilar actions, and when participants competed against a computer, suggesting that the effect is not related to facilitation produced by action observation. Rather, faster ballistic movements may be a general property of reactive motor control, potentially providing a useful means of promoting survival.
|Journal||Royal Society of London. Proceedings B. Biological Sciences|
|Publication status||Published - 3 Feb 2010|
- movement control, mirror neuron system, action observation, Parkinson's disease, interference, interpersonal competition, response selection