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J Exp Psychol Learn Mem Cogn. 2003 Sep;29(5):1006-16.

Action coordination in groups and individuals: learning anticipatory control.

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Max Planck Institute for Psychological Research, Cognition and Action, Amalienstrasse 33, 80799 Munich, Germany.


When individuals act alone, they can internally coordinate the actions at hand. Such coordination is not feasible when individuals act together in a group. The present research examines to what extent groups encounter specific challenges when acting jointly and whether these challenges impede extending planning into the future. Individuals and groups carried out a tracking task that required learning a new anticipatory control strategy. The results show that groups face additional demands that are harder to overcome when planning needs to be extended into the future. Information about others' actions is a necessary condition for groups to effectively learn to extend their plans. Possible mechanisms for exerting and learning anticipatory control are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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