The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of social intentions on action. Participants were requested to reach towards, grasp an object, and either pass it to another person or put it on a concave base . Movements’ kinematics was recorded using a three-dimensional motion analysis system. The results indicate that kinematics is sensitive to social intention. Movements performed for the ‘social’ condition were characterized by a kinematic pattern which differed from those obtained for the ‘single-agent’ condition. (...) Results are discussed in terms of a motor simulation hypothesis, which assumes that the same mechanisms underlying motor intention are sensitive to social intentions. (shrink)
The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of communicative intention on action. In Experiment 1 participants were requested to reach towards an object, grasp it, and either simply lift it or lift it with the intent to communicate a meaning to a partner . Movement kinematics were recorded using a three-dimensional motion analysis system. The results indicate that kinematics was sensitive to communicative intention. Although the to-be-grasped object remained the same, movements performed for the ‘communicative’ condition (...) were characterized by a kinematic pattern which differed from those obtained for the ‘individual’ condition. These findings were confirmed in a subsequent experiment in which the communicative condition was compared to a control condition, in which the communicative exchange was prevented. Results are discussed in terms of cognitive pragmatics and current knowledge on how social behavior shapes action kinematics. (shrink)
In this paper we discuss the problem of the neural conditions of shared attitudes and intentions: which neural mechanisms underlie “we-mode” processes or serve as precursors to such processes? Neurophysiological and neuropsychological evidence suggests that in different areas of the brain neural representations are shared by several individuals. This situation, on the one hand, creates a potential problem for correct attribution. On the other hand, it may provide the conditions for shared attitudes and intentions.
In this paper we present theoretical and experimental evidence for a set of mechanisms by which intention is understood. We propose that three basic aspects are involved in the understanding of intention. The first aspect to consider is intention recognition, i.e., the process by which we recognize other people’s intentions, distinguishing among different types. The second aspect concerns the attribution of intention to its author: the existence of shared neural representations provides a parsimonious explanation of how we recognize other people’s (...) intentions , but in and of itself, is not sufficient to determine who the agent is. Once the intention has been recognized and attributed to an agent, the reasons for, and the aim of, the intention are to be considered. Hence, the third aspect concerns the aim-intention motivating the execution of a certain action. We discuss the neural basis of these three theoretical aspects suggesting a conceptual synthesis. (shrink)
As shown by neuroscientific evidence, neglect may occur without elementary sensorimotor impairments. The deficit is to be found at a higher, more abstract level of representation, which prevents the patient not only from seeing, but from conceiving the contralesional space. By analysing a series of neuropsychological results, in this paper we suggest a crucial role of time for the construction of a world: on this basis, we try to explain how it is possible that half the ontology gets lost. The (...) analysis of the ontological implication of neglect will allow us to shed light on manifestations of the pathology apparently disconnected. (shrink)
In the present paper we present a short review of some recent neuro- physiological and neuropsychological findings which suggest that self-generated actions and actions of others are mapped on the same neural substratum. Since this substratum is neutral with respect to the agent, correctly attributing an action to its proper author requires the co-activation of areas specific to the self and the other. A conceptual analysis of the empirical data will lead us to conclude that from a neurobiological point of (...) view the problem is not 'how is it possible to share the intentions of others', but rather 'how one can distinguish one's own action/intention from those of other people'. (shrink)