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Mathias Hegele and Friedrike Seyfried

In this opinion paper, we aim to delineate the development of the person–object differentiation in visuomotor behavior as established during the first two years of life, which can be conceived as a precursor for the broader distinction between animate and inanimate entities, which in turn form the basis of the more inclusive biological–nonbiological distinction (Poulin-Dubois, Lepage, & Ferland, 1996). We then discuss embodied sensorimotor simulation, which allows us to use the self as a model for perceiving objects in our environment, as a potential mechanism underlying this distinction.

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Gudrun Schwarzer, Bianca Jovanovic, Claudia Kubicek and Mathias Hegele

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Michael Joch, Mathias Hegele, Heiko Maurer, Hermann Müller and Lisa K. Maurer

Motor learning can be monitored by observing the development of neural correlates of error processing. Among these neural correlates, the error- and feedback-related negativity (Ne/ERN and FRN) represent error processing mechanisms. While the Ne/ERN is more related to error prediction, the FRN is found after an error is manifested. The questions the current study strives to answer are: What information is needed by the system to make error predictions and how is this represented by the Ne/ERN and FRN in a complex motor task? We reduced the information and increased the difficulty level for the prediction in a semivirtual throwing task and found no Ne/ERN but a large FRN when the action result was finally observed (hitting or missing a target). We assume that uncertainty for error prediction was too high (either due to insufficient information or due to lacking prerequisites for prediction), such that error processing had to be mainly based on feedback. The finding is in line with the reinforcement theory of learning, after which Ne/ERN and FRN should behave complementary.