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Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience

November 2008, Vol. 20, No. 11, Pages 2015-2024
(doi: 10.1162/jocn.2008.20144)
© 2008 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Action Co-representation is Tuned to Other Humans
Article PDF (224.39 KB)

The present study attempts to explore the process by which knowledge of another's intentional behavior in a joint-action scenario is represented through the action observation and execution network—also known as the common coding system. Participants (n = 18) were instructed to perform the complementary social Simon task under the implemented belief of interaction with either an unseen human (biological agent) or a computer program, where in fact, all response sequences from either “partner” were generated by computer. Results provide behavioral and neurophysiological evidence (P3 and S-LRP) that the believed intentionality of another person's actions is sufficient to facilitate a strong-enough agency-dependent social Simon effect to modulate action planning and anticipation. We suggest that the co-representation of human action may be an evolved biologically tuned default of the human motor system.