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Understanding covert verbal actions as simulated verbal actions : Ladislas Nalborczyk , ILCB
November/27/2020 @ 14:00 - 15:00
Mental imagery of actions or “motor imagery” is accompanied by subjective multisensory (e.g., auditory, visual, kinaesthetic) experience. For instance, while reading these words, you may experience the auditory sensation of an “inner voice” accompanying your reading. Since the first explorations of the phenomenological and psychophysiological properties of such imagined actions, there has been considerable efforts and progresses towards describing the mechanisms leading to these sensory percepts. An influential view suggests that these sensory percepts would result from the simulation or emulation of the corresponding motor action, reusing internal models developed for the control of overt actions. However, the precise computations required by these internal models (i.e., simulators or emulators) and their neural implementation is still unclear. Moreover, the simulationnist view raises the question of how is it possible for imagination of action not to lead to overt execution. In other words, despite the involvement of the motor system in providing the sensory experience of the covert action, how can we imagine raising our arm without actually raising our arm? By focusing on imagined (i.e., covert) verbal actions as a case study, we aim to better characterise the fundamental interplay between language, action, and perception.