Motor Cognition: What actions tell the self

Paperback | July 27, 2006

byMarc Jeannerod

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Our ability to acknowledge and recognise our own identity - our 'self' - is a characteristic doubtless unique to humans. Where does this feeling come from? How does the combination of neurophysiological processes coupled with our interaction with the outside world construct this coherentidentity? We know that our social interactions contribute via the eyes, ears etc. However, our self is not only influenced by our senses. It is also influenced by the actions we perform and those we see others perform. Our brain anticipates the effects of our own actions and simulates theactions of others. In this way, we become able to understand ourselves and to understand the actions and emotions of others. This book is the first to describe the new field of 'Motor Cognition' - one to which the author's contribution has been seminal. Though motor actions have long been studied by neuroscientists and physiologists, it is only recently that scientists have considered the role of actions in building theself. How consciousness of action is part of self-consciousness, how one's own actions determine the sense of being an agent, how actions performed by others impact on ourselves for understanding others, differentiating ourselves from them and learning from them: these questions are raised anddiscussed throughout the book, drawing on experimental, clinical, and theoretical bases. The advent of new neuroscience techniques, like neuroimaging and direct electrical brain stimulation, together with a renewal of behavioral methods in cognitive psychology, provide new insights into this area. Mental imagery of action, self-recognition, consciousness of actions, imitation can beobjectively studied using these new tools. The results of these investigations shed light on clinical disorders in neurology, psychiatry and in neuro-development. This is a major new work that will lay down the foundations for the field of motor cognition.

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Our ability to acknowledge and recognise our own identity - our 'self' - is a characteristic doubtless unique to humans. Where does this feeling come from? How does the combination of neurophysiological processes coupled with our interaction with the outside world construct this coherentidentity? We know that our social interactions...

Marc Jeannerod, born in Lyon, France. Doctor in Medicine (1965), Thesis in Lyon, on sleep mechanisms. Post-doc at the Brain Research Institute, UCLA, Los Angeles (California). Professor in Physiology at the University Claude Bernard, Lyon. Runs his own lab on sensory-motor coordination, until 1997. 1997-2005: Founder and Director of ...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:224 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.5 inPublished:July 27, 2006Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198569653

ISBN - 13:9780198569657

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Table of Contents

1. Representations for actions1.1. Definitions1.2. Neural models of action representations1.3. Functional models of action representation2. Imagined actions as a prototypical form of action representation2.1. The kinematic content of motor images2.2. Dynamic changes in physiological parameters during motor imagery2.3. The functional anatomy of motor images2.4. The consequences of the embodiment of action representations3. Consciousness of self-produced actions and intentions3.1. Consciousness of actions3.2. Consciousness of intentions4. The sense of agency and the self/other distinction4.1. Sense of ownership and sense of agency in self-identification4.2. The nature of the mechanism for self-identification4.3. The problem of the self/other distinction4.4. Failure of self-recognition/attribution mechanisms in pathological states5. How do we perceive and understand the actions of others5.1. The perception of faces and bodies5.2. The perception of biological motion5.3. The understanding of others' actions5.4. Functional implications of the mirror system in motor cognition5.5. The role of the mirror system in action imitation6. The simulation hypothesis of motor cognition6.1. Motor simulation: a hypothesis for explaining action representations6.2. Motor cognition and social cognition6.3. Motor simulation and language understandingConclusion