What is Cognitive Science

Self-recognition of action: The role of similarity and simulation

Dr. Gunther Knoblich

Thursday, December 02, 2004, 12:00pm - 07:00pm

Max Planck Institute, Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences

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´┐ŻAlthough identifying and interpreting perceived actions is one of the most fundamental human abilities, this ability has long been neglected in the cognitive, social and neurosciences. Recently however, it has turned into a central research topic in these disciplines. A crucial question in the domain of action perception is how we can identify our own actions and tell them apart from the actions of others. In the first part of my talk I will present new fMRI results which show that intentions and action simulations contribute to identifying the perceptual consequences of one's own current actions. In the second part of the talk I will propose that action simulations might also play a prominent role in perceiving the actions of others, and I will postulate a similarity based matching system for perception and action. Several studies provide support for both assumptions. The two principles of similarity and simulation suggest that the way one perceives an action is fundamentally related to how one would perform it.

Dr. Gunther Knoblich

"What is Cognitive Science?"

This lunchtime talks series is designed to introduce the University community to issues in Cognitive Science. Cognitive Science is one the the few fields where modern developments in computer science and artificial intelligence promise to shed light on classical problems in psychology and the philosophy of the mind. Ancient questions of how we see the world, understand language, and reason, and questions such as 'how a material system can know about the outside world', are being explored with the powerful new conceptual prosthetics of computer modeling.

The talks in this lunchtime lecture series are every Thursday during the Fall semester from ** 12:00-1:00 ** in the Psychology Building, Room 101 on  Busch Campus.

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