The role of motor simulation in action perception: a neuropsychological case study.
Eskenazi T., Grosjean M., Humphreys GW., Knoblich G.
Research on embodied cognition stresses that bodily and motor processes constrain how we perceive others. Regarding action perception the most prominent hypothesis is that observed actions are matched to the observer's own motor representations. Previous findings demonstrate that the motor laws that constrain one's performance also constrain one's perception of others' actions. The present neuropsychological case study asked whether neurological impairments affect a person's performance and action perception in the same way. The results showed that patient DS, who suffers from a frontal brain lesion, not only ignored target size when performing movements but also when asked to judge whether others can perform the same movements. In other words DS showed the same violation of Fitts's law when performing and observing actions. These results further support the assumption of close perception action links and the assumption that these links recruit predictive mechanisms residing in the motor system.