PSYE404 Motor Cognition


The course focuses on main aspects of motor cognition. It covers low- and high-level action processing and representation, and the role of action in high level cognitive processes such as object recognition, language, attention, social cognition. The course discusses human and primate brain circuits of action processing, as well as action development and its impairment.

The course aims to stimulate students’ interest in the issues of the relationship between action and cognitive processes and to encourage students to acquire research experience in the field.

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Psychology (in English)


Asst. Prof. Armine Janyan, PhD

Course Description:


Upon completion of the course students should be able to:

o understand and use basic and advanced terminology;

o understand and discuss the main themes and theories of motor cognition;

o know and be able to discuss brain circuits involved in various aspects of action processing;

o formulate valid hypotheses on motor cognition and have suggestions for testing these;

o understand and discuss methodological and theoretical issues in research papers on motor cognition.

o To have basic knowledge on Experimental psychology, Brain anatomy, Mechanisms of cognitive processes;

o demonstrate knowledge of research methodology.

Full-time Programmes

Types of Courses:

Language of teaching:


  1. Action representation. Intention in action. Imitation. Motor systems in the human brain. Theories and data. Motor systems in the primate brain. Theories and data.
  2. Action and perception: Representation and brain systems. Object recognition.
  3. Action and space. Brain systems. Action and attention. Brain systems. Action and language. Brain systems. Action and social cognition. Brain systems. Development of action and the mirror neuron system. Neuropsychology of action.



Arbib, M.A. (Ed.). (2006). Action to language via the mirror neuron system. NY: Cambridge University Press.

Dehaene, S., Duhamel, J.-R., Hauser, M.D., and Rizzolatti, G. (Eds.). (2007). From Monkey Brain to Human Brain. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

Jeannerod, M. (2006). Motor cognition: What actions tell the self. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Leonard, F. Koziol, L.F., and Budding, D.E. (2009). Subcortical Structures and Cognition. Implications for Neuropsychological Assessment. NY: Springer.

Rizzolatti, G., and Sinigaglia, C. (2008). Mirrors in the Brain - How Our Minds Share Actions and Emotions. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


Humphreys, G.W., and Riddoch, M.J. (Eds.). (2005). Attention in Action. Advances from Cognitive Neuroscience. East Sussex, UK: Psychology Press Ltd.

Milner, A.D., and Goodale, M.A. (2006). The Visual Brain in Action. NY: Oxford University Press.

Osaka, N., Rentschler, I., and Biederman, I. (Eds.). (2007). Object Recognition, Attention, and Action. Tokyo: Springer.


tests - 30%

seminars - 20%

To complete the course students should develop an experimental project. The project should be written up and defended during the exam. - 50%