Behavior Research Methods

, Volume 42, Issue 1, pp 168–178 | Cite as

Inferring intentions from biological motion: A stimulus set of point-light communicative interactions

  • Valeria ManeraEmail author
  • Ben Schouten
  • Cristina Becchio
  • Bruno G. Bara
  • Karl Verfaillie


We present the first database of communicative interactions reproduced through point-light displays (Communicative Interaction Database). The database contains 20 communicative interactions performed by male and by female couples. For each action, we provide movie files from four different viewpoints, as well as text files with the 3-D spatial coordinates of the point lights, allowing researchers to construct customized versions. By including various types of actions performed with different social motives, the database contains a diverse sample of nonconventional communicative gestures. Normative data collected to assess the recognizability of the stimuli suggest that, for most action stimuli, information in point-light displays is sufficient for clear recognition of the action as communicative, as well as for identification of the specific communicative gesture performed by the actor. The full set of stimuli may be downloaded from content/supplemental and from


Communicative Interaction Biological Motion Social Motive Action Stimulus Male Couple 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Valeria Manera
    • 2
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ben Schouten
    • 2
  • Cristina Becchio
    • 2
  • Bruno G. Bara
    • 2
  • Karl Verfaillie
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  2. 2.Center for Cognitive Science, Department of PsychologyUniversity of TurinTurinItaly

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