Minimizing motor mimicry by myself: Self-focus enhances online action-control mechanisms during motor contagion

Consciousness and Cognition 19 (1):98-106 (2010)


Ideomotor theory of human action control proposes that activation of a motor representation can occur either through internally-intended or externally-perceived actions. Critically, sometimes these alternatives of eliciting a motor response may be conflicting, for example, when intending one action and perceiving another, necessitating the recruitment of enhanced action-control to avoid motor mimicry. Based on previous neuroimaging evidence, suggesting that reduced mimicry is associated with self-related processing, we aimed to experimentally enhance these action-control mechanisms during motor contagion by inducing self-focus. In two within-subjects experiments, participants had to enforce their action intention against an external motor contagion tendency under heightened and normal self-focus. During high self-focus participants showed reduced motor mimicry, induced either by mirror self-observation or self-referential judgments. This indicates that a self-focus provoking situation can enhance online action-control mechanisms, needed to resist unintentional motor contagion tendencies and thereby enables a modulation of automatic mirroring responses

Download options


    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 72,879

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library


Added to PP

14 (#739,022)

6 months
1 (#386,016)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Similar books and articles

Motor Awareness Without Perceptual Awareness.Helen Johnson & Patrick Haggard - 2005 - Neuropsychologia. Special Issue 43 (2):227-237.
Intention and Motor Representation in Purposive Action.Stephen Andrew Butterfill & Corrado Sinigaglia - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (1):119-145.
Computational Motor Planning and the Theory of Event Coding.David A. Rosenbaum - 2001 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (5):902-903.
Mental Simulation and Motor Imagery.Gregory Currie & Ian Ravenscroft - 1997 - Philosophy of Science 64 (1):161-80.