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ERIC Number: EJ827039
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jan
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 120
ISSN: ISSN-0012-1649
Motor Cognition and Its Role in the Phylogeny and Ontogeny of Action Understanding
Gallese, Vittorio; Rochat, Magali; Cossu, Giuseppe; Sinigaglia, Corrado
Developmental Psychology, v45 n1 p103-113 Jan 2009
Social life rests in large part on the capacity to understand the intentions behind the behavior of others. What are the origins of this capacity? How is one to construe its development in ontogenesis? By assuming that action understanding can be explained only in terms of the ability to read the minds of others--that is, to represent mental states--the traditional view claims that a sharp discontinuity occurs in both phylogeny and ontogeny. Over the last few years this view has been challenged by a number of ethological and psychological studies, as well as by several neurophysiological findings. In particular, the functional properties of the mirror neuron system and its direct matching mechanism indicate that action understanding may be primarily based on the motor cognition that underpins one's own capacity to act. This article aims to elaborate and motivate the pivotal role of such motor cognition, providing a biologically plausible and theoretically unitary account for the phylogeny and ontogeny of action understanding and also its impairment, as in the case of autistic spectrum disorder. (Contains 2 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A