Action identity: Evidence from self-recognition, prediction, and coordination

Consciousness and Cognition 12 (4):620-632 (2003)
Abstract
Prior research suggests that the action system is responsible for creating an immediate sense of self by determining whether certain sensations and perceptions are the result of one's own actions. In addition, it is assumed that declarative, episodic, or autobiographical memories create a temporally extended sense of self or some form of identity. In the present article, we review recent evidence suggesting that action (procedural) knowledge also forms part of a person's identity, an action identity, so to speak. Experiments that addressed self-recognition of past actions, prediction, and coordination provide ample evidence for this assumption. The phenomena observed in these experiments can be explained by the assumption that observing an action results in the activation of action representations, the more so, when the action observed corresponds to the way in which the observer would produce it.
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