Common coding theory holds that seeing, hearing, or thinking about an action triggers the same cognitive processes that are activated when we actually perform the action. Experimental psychological scientist Wolfgang Prinz is the founder of that theory, which provided a critical foundation for advances in cognitive neuroscience. The discovery of mirror neurons in macaque monkeys (neurons that fire both when the monkeys perceived another performing an action, such as grabbing a piece of food, and when they actually grasp the food themselves) provided some of the first neurophysiological evidence for common coding. Functional neuroimaging experiments in humans also indicate that the neural circuits involved in action execution partly overlap with those activated when actions are observed. Prinz’ work suggests that perception and action are integral and interactive features of overall cognition.
NIH has issued a Request for Information asking the community to weigh in on a number of questions related to basic behavioral science, and NIH needs to hear from individual scientists like you that basic human subjects research should not be classified as clinical trials. More
With support from the James McKeen Cattell Fund, four researchers are devoting sabbaticals to advancing research on active sensing, spatial and episodic memory, and children’s emotional development. More
The study of time perception serves as a hallmark of integrative science, mixing linguistics, cognitive neuroscience, and attention research to explore the ways people feel the minutes and hours pass. And increasingly, this research is focusing on the role that emotion plays in distorting our sense of time. More