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Open Access Publications from the University of California

I Know Your Next Move: Action Decisions in Dyadic Pick and Place Tasks


Joint pick and place tasks occur in many interpersonal scenarios, such as when two people pick up and pass dishes. Previous studies have demonstrated that low-dimensional models can accurately capture the dynamics of pick and place motor behaviors in a controlled 2D environment. The current study models the dynamics of pick-up and pass decisions within a less restrictive virtual reality mediated 3D joint pick and place task. Findings indicate that reach-normalized distance measures, between participants and objects/targets, could accurately predict pick-up and pass decisions. Findings also reveal that participants took longer to pick-up objects where division of labor boundaries were less obvious and tended to pass in locations maximizing the dyad’s efficiency. This study supports the notion that individuals are more likely to engage in interpersonal behavior when a task goal is perceived as difficult or unattainable (i.e., not afforded). Implications of findings for human-artificial agent interactions are discussed.

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