EEG frequency tagging reveals the integration of form and motion cues into the perception of group movement

Cracco, Emiel; Lee, Haeeun; van Belle, Goedele; Quenon, Lisa; Haggard, Patrick; Rossion, Bruno and Orgs, Guido. 2022. EEG frequency tagging reveals the integration of form and motion cues into the perception of group movement. Cerebral Cortex, 32(13), pp. 2843-2857. ISSN 1047-3211 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

The human brain has dedicated mechanisms for processing other people’s movements. Previous research has revealed how these mechanisms contribute to perceiving the movements of individuals but has left open how we perceive groups of people moving together. Across three experiments, we test whether movement perception depends on the spatiotemporal relationships among the movements of multiple agents. In Experiment 1, we combine EEG frequency tagging with apparent human motion and show that posture and movement perception can be dissociated at harmonically related frequencies of stimulus presentation. We then show that movement but not posture processing is enhanced when observing multiple agents move in synchrony. Movement processing was strongest for fluently moving synchronous groups (Experiment 2) and was perturbed by inversion (Experiment 3). Our findings suggest that processing group movement relies on binding body postures into movements and individual movements into groups. Enhanced perceptual processing of movement synchrony may form the basis for higher order social phenomena such as group alignment and its social consequences.

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Additional Information:

Economic and Social Research Council (“Synchronous movement, cooperation and the performing arts”, ES/M000680/2, to G.O.); Leverhulme Trust (“Neurochoreography”, F/07134/DO, to P.H.); Research Foundation Flanders (FWO18/PDO/049 to E.C.).


biological motion perception, synchrony, groups, perceptual binding, frequency tagging

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7 September 2021Accepted
4 November 2021Published Online
July 2022Published


Funding bodyFunder IDGrant Number
Economic and Social Research CouncilUNSPECIFIEDES/M000680/2

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Date Deposited:

19 Oct 2021 15:33

Last Modified:

15 Aug 2022 13:56

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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