Atypical biological kinematics are represented during observational practice
The present study investigated the effect of stimulus-response compatibility on the representation of atypical biological kinematics during observational practice. A compatible group observed an atypical model that moved rightwards, whereas an incompatible group observed an atypical model that moved leftwards. Both groups were instructed to observe the model with the intention to later reproduce the movement trajectory. This was examined in a post-test where participants were asked to move rightwards with a kinematic profile that matched the atypical kinematics. Compared to a control group that did not engage in practice, and irrespective of whether the stimulus was observed in a spatially compatible or incompatible orientation, participants from both experimental groups reproduced velocity profiles that were comparable, and similar to the atypical biological kinematics. Bayesian analysis indicated equality between the two experimental groups, thus suggesting comparable sensorimotor processing. Therefore, by rotating the incompatible stimulus by 180 degrees during observational practice, the current study has isolated the processing and representation of atypical biological kinematics to the underlying sensorimotor processes, rather than spatial encoding of peak velocity via processes associated with stimulus-response compatibility.