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Action can be defined as goal-directed bodily movements executed by an agent. Performing actions is an essential, ubiquitous part of human existence. As an example, imagine a common breakfast table scenario: While sitting down, you reach for the teapot to pour yourself a cup of tea. Before pouring the tea, you open the lid to check whether the tea has steeped. Upon seeing your partner’s face expressing interest in a cup of tea, you fill two cups and hand one to your partner.

This short everyday scene demonstrates some of the unique characteristics of actions: Actions are goal directed and prospective, yet also flexible; they are intimately linked to perception, and they often occur as part of larger action plans and in social interactions. This entry ...

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