Being mimicked affects inhibitory mechanisms of imitation
Rauchbauer B., Dunbar RIM., Lamm C.
© 2020 This study investigated the effects of being mimicked on automatic imitation indices and social cohesion. 180 female participants were either interactively mimicked or anti-mimicked. In the mimicry condition, a confederate topographically aligned, during anti-mimicry, misaligned, their behavior to the participants. Being mimicked may evoke a sense of overlap between self and other generated movements. This so-created self-other overlap may generalize to other forms of imitation and social cohesion. Here, we investigated the effects of being mimicked on automatic imitation indices, using the Imitation-Inhibition Task. These indices are the baseline corrected facilitation and inhibition index, and the interference index which depicts the relation between facilitation and inhibition. In case of a generalized self-other overlap, we expect an increase in the facilitation, inhibition, and interference index, after the Mimicry as compared to the Anti-Mimicry condition. We furthermore predicted that the modulation of the indices would predict higher social cohesion ratings. Yet, our results showed a lower inhibition index after being mimicked, respectively an increase after Anti-Mimicry, with no effects on social cohesion ratings. This suggests that potential self-other overlap after being mimicked does not generalize to automatic imitation indices. Instead, being mimicked may have increased self-regulatory processes, and task performance.