Body-Posture Recognition by Undergraduate Students Majoring in Physical Education and Other Disciplines
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Humans are more proficient at processing visual display of body posture when the body is in upright orientation, compared to when inverted (inversion effect). Here we investigated whether extensive exposure or expertise on body posture recognition would affect the efficiency with which body-posture is processed. Using whole-body and piecemeal-body postures as stimuli, we performed two experiments to investigate whether body-posture recognition differed between two groups of participants: undergraduates majoring in physical education (PE) and those in other subjects (non-PE), respectively. These two groups differed significantly in the frequency and intensity of exercise per day and/or accumulated exercise time. In our experiments, following initial presentation of an image of a body posture, participants were shown the same or a different stimulus and were asked to report whether or not they had been previously shown the same image. The orientations of the body postures were also varied between trials. Our results showed that, in Experiment 1, for whole-body posture recognition, both the PE and non-PE groups showed a robust body-inversion effect in terms of both error rate and reaction time (RT), but the magnitude of the body-inversion effect in the RT measure was greater in the PE than the non-PE group. In Experiment 2, for piecemeal-body postures, both groups showed the inversion effect in terms of both error rate and RT measures and the PE group made fewer overall errors than the non-PE group. These cumulative results suggest that a superiority effect exists for PE participants compared with non-PE participants. Our results are generally consistent with the expertise hypothesis.