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Sensitivity to differences in the motor origin of drawings: From human to robot

Output: Contribution to journalA2: International peer reviewed article (not A1-type)

This study explores the idea that an observer is sensitive to differences in the static traces of drawings that are due to differences in motor origin. In particular, our aim was to test if an observer is able to discriminate between drawings made by a robot and by a human in the case where the drawings contain salient kinematic cues for discrimination and in the case where the drawings only contain more subtle kinematic cues. We hypothesized that participants would be able to correctly attribute the drawing to a human or a robot origin when salient kinematic cues are present. In addition, our study shows that observers are also able to detect the producer behind the drawings in the absence of these salient kinematic cues. The design was such that in the absence of salient kinematic cues, the drawings are visually very similar, i.e. only differing in subtle kinematic differences. Observers thus had to rely on these subtle kinematic differences in the line trajectories between drawings. However, not only motor origin (human versus robot) but also motor style (natural versus mechanic) plays a role in attributing a drawing to the correct producer, because participants scored less high when the human hand draws in a relatively mechanical way. Overall, this study suggests that observers are sensitive to subtle kinematic differences between visually similar marks in drawings that have a different motor origin. We offer some possible interpretations inspired by the idea of "motor resonance".
Original languageEnglish
JournalPLoS ONE
StatePublished - 2014

ID: 15182792