Action Recognition in Context

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As humans, our everyday life is inherently social. To interact in a world shaped by social interaction, it is crucial to recognise and understand other agent’s actions. While action recognition is widely studied in psychology and cognitive neuroscience, contextual information, for instance the scene an action is embedded in, is often left out. There is promising evidence underlining the importance of context and its congruency on action recognition. The neuronal correlates of this context influence on action recognition are, however, not clear yet. To test action recognition in context, we designed a novel task in which first an indoor scence context image alone is presented, and then motion-captured action videos are superimposed on the image followed by a forcedchoice task. We tested the new paradigm first behaviourally (N=25), and then used functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) to investigate brain activation while participants performed the task. The behavioural results show a context-congruency effects in recognition accuracy, with significant effects of incongruent-congruent and incongruent-neutral context settings on action recognition. For the fMRI part we at present have a sample of N=8 participants, which makes the statistical tests intended impossible. Design, analysis pipeline and expectations of this fMRI paradigm with decoding techniques are still discussed in the present thesis.
Faculteit der Sociale Wetenschappen