Evidence for we-representations during joint action planning.


Psychology, Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Stirling, Stirling, Scotland, UK; Department of Cognitive Science, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary. Electronic address: [Email]


Do people engaged in joint action form action plans that specify joint outcomes at the group level? EEG was recorded from pairs of participants who performed coordinated actions that could result in different postural configurations. To isolate individual and joint action planning processes, a pre-cue specified in advance the individual actions and/or the joint configuration. Participants had 1200 ms to prepare their actions. Then a Go cue specified all action parameters and participants performed a synchronized action as quickly as possible. Action onsets were shorter when the pre-cue specified the joint configuration, regardless of whether individual action was also specified. EEG analyses showed that specifying joint action parameters in advance reduced ambiguity in a structured joint action plan (reflected in the decrease of the amplitude of the P600) and helped with representing action goals and interpersonal coordination patterns in sensorimotor brain areas (reflected in increased alpha/mu suppression and CNV amplitudes). These results provide clear evidence that joint action is driven not only by action plans that specify individual contributions, but also by action plans that specify joint action outcomes at the group level.


Action planning,EEG,Joint action,Social cognition,We-representations,