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Rhythmic Collision Avoidance

Understanding dynamic laws of interpersonal movement coordination is essential to understanding successful social interaction and activity. This project is directed towards exploring the stable patterns of coordination that emerge during rhythmic complementary coordination tasks. To do so, we have developed a set of simple repetitive collision avoidance and targeting tasks in which two or more individuals move back and forth between sets of target locations without colliding into each other. The task is played as a game and can be performed virtually (i.e., by controlling stimuli or avatars in a virtual environment) or in a real interactive environment in which pairs or groups of individuals walk and/or run back and forth between target locations. The results of these studies have revealed that without any a-prior instructions about how to best perform the task, pairs quickly converged onto a stable pattern of movement coordination, one that often involves an asymmetric control structure. Of particular interest is that the emergence of the inter-agent control and movement asymmetries observed are often essential to task success. Dynamical modeling has also revealed that these asymmetric regimes are defined by the symmetries of the task constraints and goals (e.g. layout of target locations, movement speed, cost of collision) and that dynamical coordination processes previously identified to underlie simple behavioral synchronization can also support more complex, goal-directed, joint action behaviors that require complementary joint action task roles.

 


Relevant Publications

Richardson, M. J., & Kallen, R. W. (in press). Symmetry and the Behavioral Dynamics of Social Coordination. In N. Marwan, M. Riley, A.  Giuliani, and C. L. Webber (Eds.), Translational Recurrences: From Mathematical Theory to Real-World Applications (pp. 173-186). Springer International Publishing.

Rigoli, L., Romero, V., Shockley, K., J. Funke, G. J., Strang, A. J., & Richardson, M. J. (2015).  Effects of Complementary Control on the Coordination Dynamics of Joint-Action. In Noelle, D. C., Dale, R., Warlaumont, A. S., Yoshimi, J., Matlock, T., Jennings, C. D., & Maglio, P. P. (Eds.) Proceedings of the 37th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

Eiler, B., Kallen, R. W., Harrison, S. J., Saltzman, E., Schmidt, R. C., & Richardson, M. J., (2015). Behavioral Dynamics of a Collision Avoidance Task: How Asymmetry Stabilizes Performance. In Noelle, D. C., Dale, R., Warlaumont, A. S., Yoshimi, J., Matlock, T., Jennings, C. D., & Maglio, P. P. (Eds.) Proceedings of the 37th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

Richardson, M. J., Harrison, S. J., Kallen, R. W., *Walton, A., *Eiler, B., & Schmidt, R. C. (2015). Self-Organized Complementary Coordination: Dynamics of an Interpersonal Collision-Avoidance Task.Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance.

Eiler, B., Kallen, R. W., Harrison, S. J., & Richardson, M. J. (2013). Origins of Order in Joint Activity and Social Behavior. Ecological Psychology, 25, 316–326.