Mechanisms and development of self–other distinction in dyads and groups

Sophie J. Milward, Natalie Sebanz

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This opinion piece offers a commentary on the four papers that address the theme of the development of self and other understanding with a view to highlighting the important contribution of developmental research to understanding of mechanisms of social cognition. We discuss potential mechanisms linking self –other distinction and empathy, implications for grouping motor, affective and cognitive domains under a single mechanism, applications of these accounts for joint action and finally consider self –other distinction in group versus dyadic settings.
Original languageEnglish
Article number20150076
Number of pages4
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B
Issue number1686
Early online date7 Dec 2015
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • self-other distinction
  • empathy
  • joint action
  • social cognition


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