How do we learn by observation and what do we learn by observation? The present Monograph addresses this key questions on observational learning, which were heavily discussed in the light of the discovery of mirror neurons and establishment of new functional imaging techniques in the last three decades. Various experimental and clinical studies from different research fields have made a decisive contribution to a multidisciplinary perspective on these questions. Considering that, the theoretical section of the Monograph introduces the current state of research by reviewing the basic literature with respect to pivotal theories and hypothesis. Starting with visual processing of object-related movements, the theoretical framework also summarizes the sensorimotor transformation of observed actions and functional changes of neuronal networks by observational learning. Experimental as well as clinical conditions are outlined more closely. Eventually, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is presented as a measuring technique. The following empirical section of the Monograph presents two studies that focus on the impact of action observation on learning motor skills with both the hand and the foot. Eventually, an overall conclusion highlights contribution of both studies to gain a better understanding of observational learning. An outlook is provided at the end of the work.
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