Effect of learning on imitation of new actions: implications for a memory model

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The effects of learning on strategy selection in the context of action imitation have been investigated in two experiments conducted with healthy individuals. It was predicted that, once learnt, meaningless actions are processed by the cognitive system as meaningful and this new representational status might influence the process selection in action imitation. Results showed that not only were learnt meaningless actions processed in the same way as known, meaningful actions, but that they were imitated even better, probably due to their being represented only once in the episodic, long-term memory system. Our findings are interpreted in the light of a multiple route model for action imitation.

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