Forschung

Foto: Jakob Studnar

Aktuelle Publikationen und Projekte

 

Wie funktioniert die Interaktion von Wahrnehmung, Entscheidung und Handlung? Warum sind wir in der Lage andere Personen zu imitieren und uns Urteile über deren Intentionen zu bilden? Welche kognitiven und neuronalen Mechanismen erlauben es Menschen Handlungen in Echtzeit miteinander in Raum und Zeit zu koordinieren? Wie stabil ist unser Ich-Bewusstsein und welche Rolle spielt das Gefühl von Handlungsurheberschaft (Agency) für dessen Entwicklung? Welche Rolle spielt verkörperte Wahrnehmung (Embodied Cognition) im Multitasking? Und welche Impulse kann die Beantwortung dieser Forschungsfragen für die Entwicklung neuartiger technischer Systeme und das Interaktionsverhalten in realen, digitalen und virtuellen Umgebungen haben? Diese Fragen bilden das Kernstück des UEH Forschungsprogramms.

1. Interaktion Wahrnehmung – Handlung: Entscheidungskonflikte beim gemeinsamen Handeln

In dem noch recht jungen Forschungsfeld des gemeinsamen Handelns (Joint Action) gibt es eine ganze Reihe aktueller Befunde, die Interaktionen zwischen Wahrnehmung und Handlung mit der Annahme einer gemeinsamen Kodierungsebene von Wahrnehmung und Handlungsplanung (Common coding) erklären. Diese Annahme spielt für die Beantwortung der eingangs aufgeworfenen Forschungsfragen eine wichtige Rolle. Im Kontext von dyadischen Interaktionen kommt es durch diese Art der Handlungskodierung zur Ko-repräsentation von Handlungen (oder besser von Handlungseffekten) der Interaktionspartner. Je nach situativem Kontext kann dies den Ablauf einer gemeinsam ausgeführten Handlung erleichtern und die Gruppenleistung verbessern unter gewissen Umständen aber auch verschlechtern. Ein Grund hierfür ist, dass die eigens initiierten Handlungseffekte von extern aktivierten Handlungseffekten unterschieden werden müssen. Die Beschreibung und der experimentelle Nachweis, wie solche Entscheidungskonflikte beim gemeinsamen Handeln gelöst werden ist zentraler Bestandteil der DFG Drittmittelprojekte LI 2115/1-1 und LI 2115/1-3. Ein weiterer Schwerpunkt ist die Untersuchung der Mensch-Roboter Interaktion in realen und digitalen Umwelten und die Frage, wie sich menschliche und nicht menschliche Interaktionsprozesse unterscheiden.

Zentrale Publikationen:

Liepelt, R., Porcu, E., Stenzel, A., & Lappe, M. (2019). Saccadic eye movements do not trigger a joint Simon effect. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 26, 1896-1904. doi: 10.3758/s13423-019-01639-0

Liepelt, R., Klempova, B., Dolk, T., Colzato, L. S., Ragert, P., Nitsche, M., & Hommel, B. (2016). The medial frontal cortex mediates self-other discrimination in the Joint Simon task: a tDCS study. Journal of Psychophysiology, 30, 87-101. doi: 10.1027/0269-8803/a000158

Dolk, T., Hommel, B., Prinz, W., & Liepelt, R. (2013). The (not so) Social Simon effect: A referential coding account. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 39, 1248-1260. doi: 10.1037/a0031031

Stenzel, A., Chinellato, E., Tirado Bou, M. A., del Pobil, Á. P., Lappe, M., & Liepelt, R. (2012). When humanoid robots become human-like interaction partners: co-representation of robotic actions. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 38, 1073-1077. doi: 10.1037/a0029493

Liepelt, R., & Prinz, W. (2011). How two share two tasks: evidence of a Social Psychological Refractory Period effect. Experimental Brain Research, 211, 387-396. doi: 10.1007/s00221-011-2703-2

Liepelt, R., Wenke, D., Fischer, R., & Prinz, W. (2011). Trial-to-trial sequential dependencies in a social and non-social Simon task. Psychological Research, 75, 366-­375. doi: 10.1007/s00426-010-0314-3


2. Ich-Bewusstsein und multisensorische Integration

Unser Selbst erscheint uns typischerweise fest im eigenen Körper verortet und wird auch über die Zeit als relativ stabiles „Körper-Ich“ wahrgenommen. Dabei zeigt aktuelle Forschung zur multisensorischen Wahrnehmung, dass es bemerkenswert einfach ist Störungen des körperlichen Selbstbildes zu erzeugen. Sehr kontrovers diskutiert wird bislang die Frage, ob es möglich ist externe technische Geräte, wie beispielsweise moderne Smartphones, in das Körper-Ich zu integrieren. Einige unserer Arbeiten zeigen erste Evidenz für die Möglichkeit der Integration von technischen Geräten in das körperliche Selbst. Die vergangene Erfahrung im Umgang (sog. Agency Erfahrung) scheint dabei eine große Rolle zu spielen.

Zentrale Publikationen:

Liepelt, R., Dolk, T., & Hommel, B. (2017). Self-perception beyond the body: The role of past agency. Psychological Research, 81, 549-559. doi: 10.1007/s00426-016-0766-1

Liepelt, R., & Brooks, J. (2017). Understanding Body Ownership and Agency. The Scientist, 31, 1-7. https://www.the-scientist.com/features/understanding-body-ownership-and-agency-31597


3. Verkörperte Wahrnehmung (Embodied Cognition) und Multitasking

Die Kontrolle von Multitasking Aufgaben beinhaltet eine Reihe komplexer Entscheidungsprozesse. Die Steuerung dieser Aufgaben wird zunehmend mit modernen technischen Geräten ermöglicht. Neuartige technische Geräte erfordern dabei in vielen Fällen eine sehr direkte Steuerung komplexer Inhalte in räumlicher Nähe zu unseren Händen (z.B. manuelle Steuerung von Tablet-PCs). Diese werden zudem häufig zur Steuerung von komplexen technischen Multitasking Umwelten eingesetzt (z.B. in Cockpits von Zügen). In diesem Forschungsbereich verfolgt UEH die Perspektive der verkörperten Kognition im Multitasking. In aktuellen DFG Projekten (DFG Drittmittelprojekt LI 2115/2-1 und LI 2115/6-1) konnte erste Evidenz dafür gezeigt werden, dass eine größere Körpernähe die Leistung in komplexen Multitasking Aufgaben verbessert. Weitere Forschungsarbeiten beschäftigen sich mit der Trainierbarkeit von zentralen exekutiven Funktionen im Multitasking.

Zentrale Publikationen:

Fischer, R., Liepelt, R. (2020). Embodied cognition in multitasking: increased hand-specific task shielding when stimuli are presented near the hand. Psychological Research, 84, 1668–1682. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00426-019-01174-6

Liepelt, R., & Fischer, R. (2016). Task demands determine hand posture bias on conflict processing in a Simon task. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 23, 579-586. doi: 10.3758/s13423-015-0901-9

Liepelt, R., Strobach, T., Frensch, P., & Schubert, T. (2011). Improved Inter-task Coordination Skills after extensive Dual-task Practice. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 64, 1251.1272. doi: 10.1080/17470218.2010.543284


4. Imitationshandlungen und Urteile über Intentionen

Menschen imitieren Handlungen anderer Personen scheinbar automatisch. Die Integration fremder Handlungen in das eigene Handlungsschema hat dabei viele Vorteile und ermöglicht eine soziale Interaktion in Echtzeit. Es entstehen aber auch Kosten für das kognitive System. So müssen eigene und fremde Handlungen durch Inhibitionsprozesse getrennt werden. In diesem Forschungsbereich geht es um die Trennung von bottom-up und top-down Effekten im Imitations-Inhibitionsparadigma, um non-verbale Kommunikation und die Frage, ob Intentionszuschreibung zu verstärkten Imitationseffekten führt.

Zentrale Publikationen:

Liepelt, R., Prinz, W., Brass, M. (2010). When do we simulate non-human agents? Dissociating communicative and non-communicative actions. Cognition, 115, 426-434. doi: 10.1016/j.cognition.2010.03.003

Liepelt, R., & Brass, M. (2010). Top-down modulation of motor priming by belief about animacy. Experimental Psychology, 57, 221-227. doi: 10.1027/1618-3169/a000028

Liepelt, R., von Cramon, D. Y., Brass, M. (2008). How do we infer Others’ Goals from Non-stereotypic Actions? The Outcome of Context-Sensitive Inferential Processing in Right Inferior Parietal and Posterior Temporal Cortex. Neuroimage, 43, 784-792. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2008.08.007

Liepelt, R., von Cramon, D. Y., Brass, M. (2008). What is matched in direct matching? Intention attribution modulates motor priming. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 34, 578-591. doi: 10.1037/0096-1523.34.3.578


Funding

Research Grant LI 2115/6-1

"Increased perception-action coupling through embodied cognition: How the human body improves the simultaneous performance of two tasks in basic and applied task contexts" (Co-PI Rico Fischer) by the German Research Foundation (DFG), 2020-2023.

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Increased perception-action coupling through embodied cognition: How the human body improves the simultaneous performance of two tasks in basic and applied task contexts

This project aims at filling the gap between basic cognitive research on multiple task performance on the one hand and current developments of applied dual-tasking demands in technical environments on the other. Recent research in cognitive psychology has substantiated the assumption of a strong connection between action components directly affecting perception and attentional control. Such action-perception interactions are increasingly prevalent in high-demanding complex cognitive tasks, which require the simultaneous processing and coordination of multiple stimuli and responses. Especially in real-life and applied contexts, task control is often implemented via handheld devices or touch screens and thus, the visual-manual interaction focus is shifted into a shared visuo-spatial attentional region. This project builds on recent findings in our labs that stimulus-hand nearness indeed improves dual tasking performance. This near-hand benefit was expressed in improved shielding of the prioritized task against interference by additional task processing (i.e., reduced between-task interference) when hands were located close to the stimuli compared to when they were located far from the stimuli. This is a highly important step in this new research area, as it offers possibilities for optimizing dual tasking in conditions of stimulus-hand nearness. At the same time, however, the cognitive mechanisms underlying these findings of improved dual tasking are to date highly underspecified. We reason that traditional theoretical assumptions about mechanisms underlying the action-perception interactions cannot be easily transferred to situations of multiple task performance. Instead, we propose that in dual-task conditions, in which each task-specific stimulus is operated with the respective task-specific response hand, the nearness of the hand to the stimulus will facilitate perception-action coupling in each task and will thus, facilitate the conceptual separation of two tasks. As a consequence, we propose that presenting stimuli close to the hands will help to reduce unwanted information-transmission between tasks (between-task interference). The present project aims at testing and confirming this assumption in three work-packages that include the investigation of the type of interference that can be reduced, the identification of the underlying mechanisms, the modality-specificity and the transfer of the near-hand-benefit effect to applied and real-life dual-task scenarios using hand-held devices, tool-based and hand-movement responses. The present approach of addressing action-perception interactions in dual tasking will therefore not only provide important theoretical scientific information on how stimulus-hand proximity affects dual-task performance costs, but promises also important knowledge for transfer into applied cognitive sciences and technical developments.

Research Grant LI 2115/2-1

"Embodied Cognition in Multitasking: Stimulus-Hand Proximity and Cognitive Control in Dual-Task Performance" (Co-PI Rico Fischer) within the Priority Program "Multitasking" (SPP 1771) of the German Research Foundation (DFG), 2015-2020.

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Embodied Cognition in Multitasking: Stimulus-Hand Proximity and Cognitive Control in Dual-Task Performance

Multiple task performance has become an increasing prevalent phenomenon of the modern world, as we face a constantly growing demand on multitasking abilities in everyday and work life. For example, the development of modern technical devices more and more demand visual-manual interactions within a shared visuo-spatial region (e.g., hand-held devices, tablet control), which are continuously implemented in complex real life multitasking environments, such as in cockpits of trains and aircrafts. From research in embodied cognition, however, it is known, that cognitive processing is not independent of the body. Recent research demonstrated that the presence of hands close to a visual stimulus (e.g., within the visuo-spatial attentional focus) biases the allocation of attention to the area near the hand and enhances the engagement of cognitive control for stimuli in near hand space. In the special context of dual tasks, with multiple stimuli being presented in near hand space, we aim at specifying which control parameters are affected in proximal stimulus conditions. We therefore ask, whether altered visuo-spatial attention targets S1 and S2 equally within left- and right-hand space and how hand position determines cognitive control parameters relating to central switching operations, i.e., task set shifts at the bottleneck. A more thorough and in-depth processing of the currently relevant stimulus under proximal stimulus conditions might delay disengagement and shifts to secondary task component processing. Furthermore, we assess the impact of privileged stimulus processing in near hand space on priorization of task order and the flexibility of reconfiguration of task order switches. By measuring hand proximity effects on dual-task performance, we aim to provide a new research perspective on human multitasking behavior by emphasizing the role of action-perception interaction for determining cognitive control in dual-task situations. An embodied cognition approach to multitasking will, therefore, not only provide important theoretical scientific information concerning the flexibility of cognitive control for the coordination and scheduling of task sets in dual-task situations but might provide fertile grounds for transfer into applied cognitive sciences and technical developments. Finally, we think that this project will provide a valuable asset to the SPP 1772 in furthering the understanding of flexible priorization and shifting between component processing of multiple task sets.

Research Grant LI 2115/1-3

"Investigating the role of attention and actor similarity for joint action" by the German Research Foundation (DFG), 2014-2017.

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Investigating the role of attention and actor similarity for joint action:

Human information processing often occurs when we act together with others to achieve common goals (joint action). One of the most prominent paradigms to test joint action is the social Simon paradigm in which two people share a Simon task. When two participants perform this version of the Simon task together, a (social) Simon effect occurs (i.e., performance is better with spatial stimulus-response S-R correspondence), but no Simon effect is usually observed when participants perform the task alone. Accordingly, joint action has been proposed to be fundamentally different to individual action where one person acts alone to achieve his/her own goals. During the first project phase we found evidence that Simon-like effects can be induced when an individual person interacts with a robot or an event-producing object. The aim of the second project phase is to answer the question if joint action is mediated by dedicated social mechanisms or by domain-general processes. Using behavioral methods this project aims to specify the role of attention for joint action. Further, this project is aimed to specify the role of actor similarity and spatial, body and agency information for joint action. By applying real joint action scenarios we plan to test and extend various aspects of the cognitive model of referential coding for joint action that we have developed during the first project phase. By specifying the cognitive mechanisms underlying joint action control, the planned work is aimed to provide important answers to one of the most central questions of our time: What are the cognitive mechanisms underlying joint action that may have paved the way for our cultural development and all modern societies?

Research Grant LI 2115/1-1

"Cognitive and neural mechanisms underlying the social Simon effect" by the German Research Foundation (DFG), 2011-2014.

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Cognitive and neural mechanisms underlying the social Simon effect:

The ability to coordinate our actions with those of others is crucial for our success as individuals and in social interactions. One of the biggest mysteries in cognitive neuroscience of the current decade is how joint action differs from individual task processing. One of the most prominent examples of joint action is the social Simon effect. When two participants perform this version of the Simon task together, a Simon effect occurs (i.e., performance is better with spatial stimulus-response S-R correspondence), but no effect is observed when participants perform the task alone. The social Simon effect is typically considered as a good index for action co-representation. Based on recent experimental data we assume that dimensional overlap with respect to spatial and non-spatial task features plays an important role for the formation of the social Simon effect. The applied research is aimed to test and extend this assumption investigating the role of attention and dimensional overlap in mediating the social Simon effect. Further, we will test how participants can effectively separate events for self and other reducing dimensional overlap and how this is achieved in the human brain.

Allgemeine Psychologie: UEH | 08.09.2020