The impact of action expertise on shared representations

Sukhvinder S. Obhi, Emily S. Cross

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Expertise in the motor domain is something we recognize almost instantaneously in other people, whether a gymnast performing a double layout with a twist, a basketball player slam dunking the ball, a Super-G skier descending a steep course at 80 mph, or a dancer executing 11 consecutive spins on one leg without stopping. While we might be able to readily recognize expertise in others, the degree to which action experts can coordinate or move their bodies in profoundly different ways to non-experts raises intriguing questions for those interested in shared representations between self and other in our social world. Namely, how does an observer’s ability to embody an action impact how she perceives that action, and how might perception change as further experience with the observed action is acquired? In this chapter, we address these questions by considering empirical research that explores the relationship between an actor and an observer’s motor abilities, and how expertise impacts this relationship.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationShared representations
Subtitle of host publicationsensorimotor foundations of social life
EditorsSukhvinder S. Obhi, Emily S. Cross
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press (CUP)
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9781107279353
ISBN (Print)9781107050204, 9781107690318
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameCambridge social neuroscience

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