Action selection is subject to many biases. Immediate movement history is one such bias seen in young infants. Is this bias strong enough to affect adult behavior? Adult participants reached and grasped a cylinder positioned to require either pronation or supination of the hand. Successive cylinder positions changed either randomly or systematically between trials. Random positioning led to optimized economy of movement. In contrast, systematic changes in position biased action selection toward previously selected actions at the expense of movement economy. Thus, one switches to a new movement only when the savings outweigh the costs of the switch. Immediate movement history had an even larger influence on children aged 7-15 years. This suggests that switching costs are greater in children, which is consistent with their reduced grasping experience. The presence of this effect in adults suggests that immediate movement history exerts a more widespread and pervasive influence on patterns of action selection than researchers had previously recognized.
- Action selection
- Immediate movement history