Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Monkey See, Monkey Do: Visual Feedback Is Necessary for Imitating Facial Expressions

Research using new technology shows that our ability to imitate facial expressions depends on learning that occurs through visual feedback...In one experiment, the researchers found that participants who were able to see their imitation attempts through visual feedback improved over successive attempts. But participants who had to rely solely on proprioception -- sensing the relative position of their facial features -- got progressively worse. These results are consistent with the associative sequence-learning model, which holds that our ability to imitate accurately depends on learned associations between what we see (in the mirror or through feedback from others) and what we feel. more

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