The past decade has witnessed incredible advances in building highly realistic and richly detailed simulated worlds. We readily endorse the common-sense assumption that people will be better equipped for solving real-world problems if they are trained in near-life, even if virtual, scenarios. The past decade has also witnessed a significant increase in our knowledge of how the human body as both sensor and as effector relates to cognition. Evidence shows that our mental representations of the world are constrained by the bodily states present in our moment-to-moment interactions with the world. The current study investigated whether there are differences in how people enact actions in the simulated as opposed to the real world. The current study developed simple parallel task environments and asked participants to perform actions embedded in a stream of continuous events (e.g., cutting a cucumber). The results showed that participants performed actions at a faster speed and came closer to incurring injury to the fingers in the avatar enacting action environment than in the human enacting action environment.

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