Action Categorization in Rhesus Monkeys: discrimination of grasping from non-grasping manual motor acts
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CitationNelissen, Koen, and Wim Vanduffel. 2017. “Action Categorization in Rhesus Monkeys: discrimination of grasping from non-grasping manual motor acts.” Scientific Reports 7 (1): 15094. doi:10.1038/s41598-017-15378-6. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-15378-6.
AbstractThe ability to recognize others’ actions is an important aspect of social behavior. While neurophysiological and behavioral research in monkeys has offered a better understanding of how the primate brain processes this type of information, further insight with respect to the neural correlates of action recognition requires tasks that allow recording of brain activity or perturbing brain regions while monkeys simultaneously make behavioral judgements about certain aspects of observed actions. Here we investigated whether rhesus monkeys could actively discriminate videos showing grasping or non-grasping manual motor acts in a two-alternative categorization task. After monkeys became proficient in this task, we tested their ability to generalize to a number of untrained, novel videos depicting grasps or other manual motor acts. Monkeys generalized to a wide range of novel human or conspecific grasping and non-grasping motor acts. They failed, however, for videos showing unfamiliar actions such as a non-biological effector performing a grasp, or a human hand touching an object with the back of the hand. This study shows the feasibility of training monkeys to perform active judgements about certain aspects of observed actions, instrumental for causal investigations into the neural correlates of action recognition.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:34492871
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