When triangles become human: Action co-representation for objects

Interaction Studies 16 (1):54-67 (2015)
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Abstract

Until recently, it was assumed that co-representation of others’ actions, an essential part in joint action, is biologically tuned. However, research demonstrated that we also simulate actions of non-biological interaction partners under certain conditions. In the present study, we investigated whether perceived intentionality or perspective taking is the underlying mechanisms of this phenomenon. Participants saw a short video fragment of a non-biological agent as main character. The movements of this agent were either described as intentional or as unintentional. Furthermore, participants were instructed to either take the perspective of this non-biological agent or not. Results show that perspective taking and perceived intentionality both lead to action co-representation of non-biological actions. Possible explanations for these findings are discussed

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