Title: How do we represent multiple observed actions in our motor system?
More than two decades of behavioural and neuroimaging research has demonstrated that we simulate observed behaviour in our motor system. The question, however, how we represent multiple actions and agents has been widely neglected. In a series of experiments, we investigated whether motor simulation is stronger for observing multiple compared to single agents. Furthermore, we tested whether we can motorically simulate two different actions at the same time. Our behavioural and imaging data suggest that motor simulation is enhanced by observing multiple agents. Furthermore, we have shown that representing different observed actions leads to motor conflict. Finally, using virtual reality we recently investigated how motor contagion contributes to group behaviour in more realistic social settings.