Action ScienceFoundations of an Emerging Discipline

Action ScienceFoundations of an Emerging Discipline

Wolfgang Prinz, Miriam Beisert, and Arvid Herwig

Print publication date: 2013

ISBN: 9780262018555

Publisher: The MIT Press


The emerging field of action science is characterized by a diversity of theoretical and methodological approaches which share the basic functional belief that evolution has optimized cognitive systems to serve the demands of action. This book brings together the constitutive approaches of action science in a single source, covering the relationship of action to such cognitive functions as perception, attention, memory, and volition. Each chapter, written by a different scientist in the field, offers a tutorial-like description of a major line of inquiry. Considered as one unit, the chapters reflect a rapidly growing field, and provide a forum for comparison and possible integration of approaches. After discussing core questions about how actions are controlled and learned, the book considers ecological approaches to action science; neurocognitive approaches to action understanding and attention; developmental approaches to action science; social actions, including imitation and joint action; and the relationships between action and the conceptual system (grounded cognition) and between volition and action.

Table of Contents

1 Action Science Emerging: Introduction and Leitmotifs

Arvid Herwig, Miriam Beisert, and Wolfgang Prinz

I Control and Learning

3 Implicit and Explicit Processes in Motor Learning

Jordan A. Taylor, and Richard B. Ivry

II Ecological Approaches

7 Perception Viewed as a Phenotypic Expression

Dennis R. Proffitt, and Sally A. Linkenauger

III Neurocognitive Mechanisms

8 Understanding Action from the Inside

Giacomo Rizzolatti, and Corrado Sinigaglia

IV Development

V Social Actions

13 Joint Action: From Perception-Action Links to Shared Representations

Janeen D. Loehr, Natalie Sebanz, and Günther Knoblich

VI Cognition and Volition

End Matter