Individual differences in action co-representation: not personal distress or subclinical psychotic experiences but sex composition modulates joint action performance

Anouk van der Weiden*, Henk Aarts, Merel Prikken, Neeltje E.M. van Haren

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Successful social interaction requires the ability to integrate as well as distinguish own and others’ actions. Normally, the integration and distinction of self and other are a well-balanced process, occurring without much effort or conscious attention. However, not everyone is blessed with the ability to balance self–other distinction and integration, resulting in personal distress in reaction to other people’s emotions or even a loss of self [e.g., in (subclinical) psychosis]. Previous research has demonstrated that the integration and distinction of others’ actions cause interference with one’s own action performance (commonly assessed with a social Simon task). The present study had two goals. First, as previous studies on the social Simon effect employed relatively small samples (N < 50 per test), we aimed for a sample size that allowed us to test the robustness of the action interference effect. Second, we tested to what extent action interference reflects individual differences in traits related to self–other distinction (i.e., personal distress in reaction to other people’s emotions and subclinical psychotic symptoms). Based on a questionnaire study among a large sample (N = 745), we selected a subsample (N = 130) of participants scoring low, average, or high on subclinical psychotic symptoms, or on personal distress. The selected participants performed a social Simon task. Results showed a robust social Simon effect, regardless of individual differences in personal distress or subclinical psychotic symptoms. However, exploratory analyses revealed that the sex composition of interaction pairs modulated social Simon effects. Possible explanations for these findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)499-510
Number of pages12
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Volume234
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The work in this paper was supported by VIDI-Grant 452-11-014 from the Dutch Organization for Scientific Research.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, The Author(s).

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Individual differences in action co-representation: not personal distress or subclinical psychotic experiences but sex composition modulates joint action performance'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this