Disorders of shared representations

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Colleges, School and Institutes


This chapter will begin with a focus on a particular subtopic within the
shared representations research domain: imitation. Imitation occurs when
the perception of another’s actions causes the activation of the corresponding
motor representation in the observer. Thus imitation relates to shared
representations in that it concerns the activation of a self- related representation
by an other- related representation. In this chapter, I will use examples
from the autism spectrum conditions (ASCs) literature to argue that if either the self- or other- related representation is atypical this can result in atypical imitation. In other words, if action observation or action execution mechanisms are atypical, then imitation will be affected. I will conclude this chapter by drawing on research that extends this logic to other sociocognitive domains such as empathy and to conditions such as schizophrenia and alexithymia.

Bibliographic note

Chapter 23 from Part V - Learning and Development


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationShared representations:
Subtitle of host publicationsensorimotor foundations of social life
EditorsSukhvinder S. Obhi, Emily S. Cross
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Publication series

NameCambridge Social Neuroscience
PublisherCambridge University Press