NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ779043
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Nov
Pages: 13
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0278-7393
Activation of Action Rules in Action Observation
Massen, Cristina; Prinz, Wolfgang
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, v33 n6 p1118-1130 Nov 2007
Visually perceiving an action may activate corresponding motor programs. This automatic motor activation can occur both for higher level (i.e., the goal of an action) and for lower level (i.e., the specific effector with which it is executed) aspects of an action. The authors used a tool-use action paradigm to experimentally dissociate priming effects for observing the target, the movement, or the target-to-movement mapping of a tool-use action. In 3 experiments, participants took turns in acting, observing the tool-use action of another person in trial n-1, and executing an action in trial n. Trial transitions from n-1 to n were manipulated in 4 conditions with (a) mapping repeated and movement and target changed, (b) target repeated and movement and mapping changed, (c) movement repeated and target and mapping changed, or (d) all components repeated. Results indicate priming effects for repeating the target-to-movement mapping (i.e., the action rule) of a tool-use action and suggest that a rather abstract action schema is activated during action observation.
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A