Traditional approaches to human information processing tend to deal with perception and action planning in isolation, so that an adequate account of the perception-action interface is still missing. On the perceptual side, the dominant cognitive view largely underestimates, and thus fails to account for, the impact of action-related processes on both the processing of perceptual information and on perceptual learning. On the action side, most approaches conceive of action planning as a mere continuation of stimulus processing, thus failing to account (...) for the goal-directedness of even the simplest reaction in an experimental task. We propose a new framework for a more adequate theoretical treatment of perception and action planning, in which perceptual contents and action plans are coded in a common representational medium by feature codes with distal reference. Perceived events (perceptions) and to-be-produced events (actions) are equally represented by integrated, task-tuned networks of feature codes – cognitive structures we call event codes. We give an overview of evidence from a wide variety of empirical domains, such as spatial stimulus-response compatibility, sensorimotor synchronization, and ideomotor action, showing that our main assumptions are well supported by the data. Key Words: action planning; binding; common coding; event coding; feature integration; perception; perception-action interface. (shrink)
An action-oriented perspective changes the role of an individual from a passive observer to an actively engaged agent interacting in a closed loop with the world as well as with others. Cognition exists to serve action within a landscape that contains both. This chapter surveys this landscape and addresses the status of the pragmatic turn. Its potential influence on science and the study of cognition are considered (including perception, social cognition, social interaction, sensorimotor entrainment, and language acquisition) and its impact (...) on how neuroscience is studied is also investigated (with the notion that brains do not passively build models, but instead support the guidance of action). A review of its implications in robotics and engineering includes a discussion of the application of enactive control principles to couple action and perception in robotics as well as the conceptualization of system design in a more holistic, less modular manner. Practical applications that can impact the human condition are reviewed (e.g., educational applications, treatment possibilities for developmental and psychopathological disorders, the development of neural prostheses). All of this foreshadows the potential societal implications of the pragmatic turn. The chapter concludes that an action-oriented approach emphasizes a continuum of interaction between technical aspects of cognitive systems and robotics, biology, psychology, the social sciences, and the humanities, where the individual is part of a grounded cultural system. (shrink)
When sharing a task with another person that requires turn taking, as in doubles games of table tennis, performance on the shared task is similar to performing the whole task alone. This has been taken to indicate that humans co-represent their partner’s task share, as if it were their own. Task co-representation allows prediction of the other’s responses when it is the other’s turn, and leads to response conflict in joint interference tasks. However, data from our lab cast doubt on (...) the view that task co-representation and resulting response conflict are the only or even primary source of effects observed in task sharing. Recent findings furthermore suggest another potential source of interference in joint task performance that has been neglected so far: Self-other discrimination and conflict related to agent identification (i.e., determining whether it is “my” or the other’s turn). Based on these findings we propose that participants might not always co-represent what their partner is supposed to do, but instead co-represent that another agent is responsible for part of the task, and when it is his turn. We call this account the actor co-representation account. (shrink)
We contrast two positions concerning the initial domain of actions that infants interpret as goal-directed. The 'narrow scope' view holds that goal-attribution in 6- and 9-month-olds is restricted to highly familiar actions (such as grasping) (). The cue-based approach of the infant's 'teleological stance' (), however, predicts that if the cues of equifinal variation of action and a salient action effect are present, young infants can attribute goals to a 'wide scope' of entities including unfamiliar human actions and actions of (...) novel objects lacking human features. It is argued that previous failures to show goal-attribution to unfamiliar actions were due to the absence of these cues. We report a modified replication of showing that when a salient action-effect is presented, even young infants can attribute a goal to an unfamiliar manual action. This study together with other recent experiments reviewed support the 'wide scope' approach indicating that if the cues of goal-directedness are present even 6-month-olds attribute goals to unfamiliar actions. (shrink)
A hypothetical evolutionary scenario is offered meant to account for the emergence of mental selves. According to the scenario, mental selves are constructed to solve a source-attribution problem. They emerge when internally generated mental contents are treated like messages arising from external personal sources. As a result, mental contents becomes attributed to the self as an internal personal source. According to this view, subjectivity is construed outward-in, that is, one's own mental self is derived from, and is secondary to, the (...) mental selves perceived in others. The social construction of subjectivity and selfhood relies on, and is maintained in, various discourses on subjectivity. (shrink)
We all know what a voluntary action is - we all think we know when an action is voluntary, and when it is not. Yet, performing and action and defining it are different matters. What counts as an action? When does it begin? Does the conscious desire to perform an action always precede the act? If not, is it really a voluntary action? This is a debate that crosses the boundaries of Philosophy, Neuroscience, Psychology, and Social Science. This book brings (...) together some to the leading thinkers from these disciplines to consider this deep and often puzzling topic. The result is a fascinating and stimulating debate that will challenge our fundamental assumptions about our sense of free-will. (shrink)
First, we discuss issues raised with respect to the Theory of Event Coding (TEC)'s scope, that is, its limitations and possible extensions. Then, we address the issue of specificity, that is, the widespread concern that TEC is too unspecified and, therefore, too vague in a number of important respects. Finally, we elaborate on our views about TEC's relations to other important frameworks and approaches in the field like stages models, ecological approaches, and the two-visual-pathways model. Footnotes1 We acknowledge the precedence (...) of both Freud¹s Instincts and Their Vicissitudes (1915) and Neisser¹s Stimulus Information and Its Vicissitudes (a term Neisser borrowed from Freud for his monograph “Cognitive psychology,” 1967). (shrink)
The latest volume in the critically acclaimed and highly cited Attention and Performance series presents state of the art research from leading scientists in cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience describing the approaches being taken to understanding the mechanisms that allow us to negotiate and respond to the world around us.
Accurately predicting other people's actions may involve two processes: internal real-time simulation (dynamic updating) and matching recently perceived action images (static matching). Using a priming of body parts, this study aimed to differentiate the two processes. Specifically, participants played a motion-controlled video game with either their arms or legs. They then observed arm movements of a point-light actor, which were briefly occluded from view, followed by a static test pose. Participants judged whether this test pose depicted a coherent continuation of (...) the previously seen action (i.e., “action prediction task”). Evidence of dynamic updating was obtained after compatible effector priming (i.e., arms), whereas incompatible effector priming (i.e., legs) indicated static matching. Together, the results support action prediction as engaging two distinct processes, dynamic simulation and static matching, and indicate that their relative contributions depend on contextual factors like compatibility of body parts involved in performed and observed action. (shrink)
waC provides a variety of different graphical notification mechanisms which can be coupled to specific working situations using the AREA model. We also report on the evaluation of the system under real-life conditions in a German federal ministry.
An emerging discipline depends on a rich and multifaceted supply of theoretical and methodological approaches. The diversity of perspectives offered in this book will serve as a guide for future explorations in action science.