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Psychol Sci. 2001 Nov;12(6):467-72.

Predicting the effects of actions: interactions of perception and action.

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Max Planck Institute for Psychological Research, Munich, Germany.


Many theories in cognitive psychology assume that perception and action systems are clearly separated from the cognitive system. Other theories suggest that important cognitive functions reside in the interactions between these systems. One consequence of the latter claim is that the action system may contribute to predicting the future consequences of currently perceived actions. In particular such predictions might be more accurate when one observes one's own actions than when one observes another person's actions, because in the former case the system that plans the action is the same system that contributes to predicting the action's effects. In the present study participants (N = 104) watched video clips displaying either themselves or somebody' else throwing a dart at a target board and predicted the dart's landing position. The predictions were more accurate when participants watched themselves acting. This result provides evidence for the claim that perceptual input can be linked with the action system to predict future outcomes of actions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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