Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 175, Issue 2, pp 353–362 | Cite as

A common coding framework in self–other interaction: evidence from joint action task

  • Chia-Chin Tsai
  • Wen-Jui Kuo
  • Jung-Tai Jing
  • Daisy L. Hung
  • Ovid J.-L. Tzeng
Research Article


Many of our actions are influenced by the social context. Traditional approach attributes the influence of the social context to arousal state changes in a socially promotive way. The ideomotor approach, which postulates common coding between perceived events and intended actions, uses a conceptual scheme of ideomotor compatibility to explain self–other interaction. In this study, we recorded reaction times (RTs) and event-related potentials in a Go/NoGo task with stimulus–response (S–R) compatibility arrangement to examine how the social context affects self–other interaction. Although the social facilitation theory predicted that RTs would be faster when acting together with audience rather than acting alone, the ideomotor theory predicted S–R compatibility effects only for the joint condition. The results revealed S–R compatibility on the RTs, lateralized readiness potential of the Go trials, and P3 of the NoGo trials in the joint condition, which were in line with the predictions of the ideomotor theory. Owing to the anticipation of other’s actions, self and other’s actions are internally and unintentionally coded at the representational level and their functional equivalency can be realized through a common coding framework between perception and action systems. Social facilitation theory was not supported, because we found no significant data differences depending on the setting.


Self–other interaction Joint action Ideomotor theory Social facilitation Event-related potentials 



This research was conducted in the Laboratory for Cognitive Neuroscience and was partly supported by Academic Sinica, National Science Council (NSC 94-2572-H-010-002-PAE), and the Tzong Jwo Jang Educational Foundation of Taiwan. We also thank Shin-Mai Sun for her help in collecting the ERP data.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chia-Chin Tsai
    • 1
    • 2
  • Wen-Jui Kuo
    • 1
  • Jung-Tai Jing
    • 1
    • 2
  • Daisy L. Hung
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ovid J.-L. Tzeng
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Laboratory for Cognitive NeuroscienceNational Yang-Ming UniversityTaipeiTaiwan
  2. 2.Institute of NeuroscienceNational Yang-Ming UniversityTaipeiTaiwan
  3. 3.Academic SinicaTaipeiTaiwan

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