In the present study, the influence of simultaneous action execution on motor priming was investigated during movement observation using a simple-reaction task. Although previous studies have reported various effects of priming on motor performance, it has not yet been clarified how an additional source conveying kinetic information would modulate the priming effects. In the experiment, participants were asked to respond to an auditory cue by flexing their wrist while observing a line movement, which was slowly swinging like an inverted pendulum. In addition to the observation of line movement, the participants executed wrist flexion-extension actions synchronizing with line movement. The hand involved in pre-response wrist action varied with the priming condition: no movement execution (observation only), contralateral hand, and ipsilateral hand. In the contralateral condition, the stimulus-response congruency of movement direction was conflicted depending on the frame of reference (visual vs. anatomical coordinates). We found that all three priming conditions produced the compatibility effect, and the effect size did not differ between them. Importantly, in the contralateral condition, participants responded faster when the direction of line movement was congruent with the response movement in the anatomical coordinates. That is, the reaction time was shorter when pre-response action execution was in the flexion phase, even though the direction of observed movement and the response action were incongruent from the participants’ view. These results suggest that kinetic information has a great contribution to the motor priming system, which can reverse the vision-based compatibility effect.
ASJC Scopus subject areas