Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 227, Issue 1, pp 85–92

Action co-representation and social exclusion

Research Article


Humans are thought to be able to form shared representations, considered a keystone of social cognition. However, whether and to what extent such representations are social in nature is still open for debate. In the present study, we address the question of whether action co-representation can be modulated by social attitudes, such as judgments about one’s own social status. Two groups of participants performed an Interactive Simon task after the experimental induction of a feeling of social inclusion or exclusion (ostracism) by means of a virtual ball tossing game. Results showed a compatibility effect in included, but not in excluded participants. This indicates that judgments about one’s own social status modulate action co-representation. We suggest that this modulation may occur by way of a redirection of one’s attentional focus away from others when one experiences social exclusion. This is a far-reaching issue given the increasing need for integration in modern society. Indeed, if integration fails, modern society fails also.


Ostracism Interactive Simon Action co-representation 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Neuropsychology and Cognitive Neuroscience, Department of Neuroscience and ImagingUniversity of ChietiChietiItaly
  2. 2.Institute for Advanced Biomedical Technologies (ITAB)Foundation University G. d’AnnunzioChietiItaly

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