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When motion is isolated from form cues and viewed from third-person perspectives, individuals are able to recognize their own whole body movements better than those of friends. Because we rarely see our own bodies in motion from third-person viewpoints, this self-recognition advantage may indicate a contribution to perception from the motor system. Our first experiment provides evidence that recognition of self-produced and friends' motion dissociate, with only the latter showing sensitivity to orientation. Through the use of selectively disrupted avatar motion, our second experiment shows that self-recognition of facial motion is mediated by knowledge of the local temporal characteristics of one's own actions. Specifically, inverted self-recognition was unaffected by disruption of feature configurations and trajectories, but eliminated by temporal distortion. While actors lack third-person visual experience of their actions, they have a lifetime of proprioceptive, somatosensory, vestibular and first-person-visual experience. These sources of contingent feedback may provide actors with knowledge about the temporal properties of their actions, potentially supporting recognition of characteristic rhythmic variation when viewing self-produced motion. In contrast, the ability to recognize the motion signatures of familiar others may be dependent on configural topographic cues.

Original publication




Journal article


Proc Biol Sci

Publication Date





669 - 674


Adult, Facial Expression, Female, Humans, Male, Motion Perception, Photic Stimulation, Recognition (Psychology)