The perception-action dynamics of action competency are altered by both physical and observational training. Academic Article uri icon


  • Action competency is defined as the ability of an individual to self-evaluate their own performance capabilities. The current experiment demonstrated that physical and observational training with a motor skill alters action competency ratings in a similar manner. Using a pre-test and post-test protocol, the results revealed that action competency is constrained prior to training by the intrinsic dynamics of relative phase (), with in-phase ( = 0) and anti-phase ( = 180) patterns receiving higher competency ratings than other relative phase patterns. After 2 days of training, action competency ratings for two trained relative phase patterns, +60 and +120, increased following physical practice or observational practice. A transfer test revealed that both physical performance ability and action competency ability transferred to the symmetry partners (-60 and -120) of the two trained relative phase patterns following physical or observational training. The findings also revealed that relative motion direction acts as categorical information that helps to organize action production and facilitate action competency. The results are interpreted based on the coordination dynamics theory of perception-action coupling, and extend this theory by showing that visual perception, action production, and action competency are all constrained in a consistent manner by the dynamics of the order parameter relative phase. As a whole, the findings revealed that relative motion, relative phase, and possibly relative amplitude information are all distinct sources of information that contribute to the emergence of a kinematic understanding of action in the nervous system.

published proceedings

  • Exp Brain Res

altmetric score

  • 1

author list (cited authors)

  • Buchanan, J. J., Ramos, J., & Robson, N.

citation count

  • 8

complete list of authors

  • Buchanan, John J||Ramos, Jorge||Robson, Nina

publication date

  • January 2015