Skip navigation
Hardcover | $72.00 Short | £53.95 | 462 pp. | 6 x 9 in | 43 figures | February 2013 | ISBN: 9780262018555
eBook | $51.00 Short | February 2013 | ISBN: 9780262312967

Action Science

Foundations of an Emerging Discipline


The emerging field of action science is characterized by a diversity of theoretical and methodological approaches that share the basic functional belief that evolution has optimized cognitive systems to serve the demands of action. This book brings together the constitutive approaches of action science in a single source, covering the relation of action to such cognitive functions as perception, attention, memory, and volition. Each chapter offers a tutorial-like description of a major line of inquiry, written by a leading scientist in the field. Taken together, the chapters reflect a dynamic and rapidly growing field and provide a forum for comparison and possible integration of approaches.

After discussing core questions about how actions are controlled and learned, the book considers ecological approaches to action science; neurocogntive approaches to action understanding and attention; developmental approaches to action science; social actions, including imitation and joint action; and the relationships between action and the conceptual system (grounded cognition) and between volition and action.

An emerging discipline depends on a rich and multifaceted supply of theoretical and methodological approaches. The diversity of perspectives offered in this book will serve as a guide for future explorations in action science.

Contributors: Lawrence W. Barsalou, Miriam Beisert, Valerian Chambon, Thomas Goschke, Patrick Haggard, Arvid Herwig, Herbert Heuer, Cecilia Heyes, Bernhard Hommel, Glyn W. Humphreys, Richard B. Ivry, Markus Kiefer, Günther Knoblich, Sally A. Linkenauger, Janeen D. Loehr, Peter J. Marshall, Andrew N. Meltzoff, Wolfgang Prinz, Dennis R. Proffitt, Giacomo Rizzolatti, David A. Rosenbaum, Natalie Sebanz, Corrado Sinigaglia, Sandra Sülzenbrück, Jordan A. Taylor, Michael T. Turvey, Claes von Hofsten, Rebecca A. Williamson

About the Editors

Wolfgang Prinz is Director Emeritus of the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Science in Leipzig, and the author of Open Minds: The Social Making of Agency and Intentionality (MIT Press, 2012).

Miriam Beisert is a Research Scientist for the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Science in Leipzig.

Arvid Herwig is a Postdoctoral Researcher and Lecturer at Bielefeld University, Bielefeld, Germany.