Shared action spaces: a basis function framework for social re-calibration of sensorimotor representations supporting joint action

The article explores the possibilities of formalizing and explaining the mechanisms that support spatial and social perspective alignment sustained over the duration of a social interaction. The basic proposed principle is that in social contexts the mechanisms for sensorimotor transformations and multisensory integration (learn to) incorporate information relative to the other actor(s), similar to the re-calibration of visual receptive fields in response to repeated tool use. This process aligns or merges the co-actors spatial representations and creates a Shared Action Space (SAS) supporting key computations of social interactions and joint actions; for example, the remapping between the coordinate systems and frames of reference of the co-actors, including perspective taking, the sensorimotor transformations required for lifting jointly an object, and the predictions of the sensory effects of such joint action. The social re-calibration is proposed to be based on common basis function maps (BFMs) and could constitute an optimal solution to sensorimotor transformation and multisensory integration in joint action or more in general social interaction contexts. However, certain situations such as discrepant postural and viewpoint alignment and associated differences in perspectives between the co-actors could constrain the process quite differently. We discuss how alignment is achieved in the first place, and how it is maintained over time, providing a taxonomy of various forms and mechanisms of space alignment and overlap based, for instance, on automaticity vs. control of the transformations between the two agents. Finally, we discuss the link between low-level mechanisms for the sharing of space and high-level mechanisms for the sharing of cognitive representations

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Pezzulo, Giovanni
Iodice, Pierpaolo
Ferraina, Stefano
Kessler, Klaus
Frontiers Research Foundation,, Lausanne , Svizzera
Frontiers in human neuroscience 7 (2013). doi:10.3389/fnhum.2013.00800
info:cnr-pdr/source/autori:Pezzulo, Giovanni; Iodice, Pierpaolo; Ferraina, Stefano; Kessler, Klaus/titolo:Shared action spaces: a basis function framework for social re-calibration of sensorimotor representations supporting joint action/doi:10.3389/fnhum.
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