Perception and Action have long been considered as two separate
information processes and have accordingly been investigated in
relative isolation from one another. However, it is now
acknowledged that perception and action are functionally related.
This special issue presents original contributions from cognitive
neuroscientists and cognitive neuropsychologists who address this
area from different complementary perspectives. Functional imaging
investigations have recently extended to the study of several
cognitive processes involved in the recognition of actions or body
parts. Two papers report on brain-activation experiments in healthy
human subjects during the recognition of hand positions and during
the perception of human actions. The visual mechanisms underlying
the perception of biological movements are investigated in normal
subjects, with the use of the apparent motion paradigm. Several
papers deal with neuropsychological cases, with apraxic patients,
with Parkinson patients, and with an agnosic patient. The study of
perception and action is relevant to psychopathology, as attested
to by the work on autistic patients. A review paper on willed
action and its physiological basis is also presented.
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