Favouritism in the motor system: Social interaction modulates action simulation



Kourtis D, Sebanz N & Knoblich G (2010) Favouritism in the motor system: Social interaction modulates action simulation. Biology Letters, 6 (6), pp. 758-761.

The ability to anticipate others' actions is crucial for social interaction. It has been shown that this ability relies on motor areas of the human brain that are not only active during action execution and action observation, but also during anticipation of another person's action. Recording electroencephalograms during a triadic social interaction, we assessed whether activation of motor areas pertaining to the human mirrorneuron system prior to action observation depends on the social relationship between the actor and the observer. Anticipatory motor activation was stronger when participants expected an interaction partner to perform a particular action than when they anticipated that the same action would be performed by a third person they did not interact with. These results demonstrate that social interaction modulates action simulation.

Action simulation; motor system; social interaction; EEG; favouritism;

Biology Letters: Volume 6, Issue 6

Publication date23/12/2010
Publication date online23/06/2010
Date accepted by journal01/06/2010
PublisherThe Royal Society

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Dr Dimitrios Kourtis

Dr Dimitrios Kourtis

Lecturer, Psychology