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Intentions in Action

Intentions in Action: Establishing the neural causes of intentional action

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "Intentions in Action" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: Chariteplatz 1
city: BERLIN
postcode: 10117

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Germany [DE]
 Project website
 Total cost 171˙460 €
 EC max contribution 171˙460 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.3.2. (Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility)
 Code Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2014
 Funding Scheme MSCA-IF-EF-ST
 Starting year 2015
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2015-08-01   to  2017-07-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

The neuroscientific study of intentional action has produced puzzling and contradictory results: intentions show up at a variety of brain locations, and up to ten seconds before a decision has been made. Recently, it has been argued that intentions do not underlie voluntary action at all. At the same time neural states have been found that could be correlated with future actions, suggesting a role for intentions after all. The proposed project suggests that the cause of these seemingly contrasting results lies in the heterogeneous composition of everyday actions, consisting of both immediate and future-directed components. The proposed research promises to go to the bottom of this controversy by investigation what types of actions can be accomplished without discrete states like intentions, and for what types of actions intentions are needed. It will do so by looking for common factors in brain states underlying actions using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Particularly, it will be investigated whether similarity in motor acts, actions, or contexts are crucial for finding commonalities in brain states. Next, it will be investigated whether immediate actions and future actions differ with respect to the neural control processes, thereby directly testing the applicability of a philosophical distinction to neuroscientific research.

Finally, it will be assessed whether these processes are unique for self-chosen actions, or also apply to cued actions as well. This will relate the study of intentional action directly to adjacent scientific fields studying prospective memory and task sets.

By solving these issues the proposed research sets out to create a novel and detailed account of intentional action which will function as a framework for future research in philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2016 Katrin S. Heimann, Sebo Uithol, Marta Calbi, Maria A. Umiltà, Michele Guerra, Vittorio Gallese
“Cuts in Action”: A High-Density EEG Study Investigating the Neural Correlates of Different Editing Techniques in Film
published pages: , ISSN: 0364-0213, DOI: 10.1111/cogs.12439
Cognitive Science 2019-07-24
2016 Vasudevi Reddy, Sebo Uithol
Engagement: Looking beyond the mirror to understand action understanding
published pages: 101-114, ISSN: 0261-510X, DOI: 10.1111/bjdp.12106
British Journal of Developmental Psychology 34/1 2019-07-24
2016 Sebo Uithol, Aaron Schurger
Reckoning the moment of reckoning in spontaneous voluntary movement
published pages: 817-819, ISSN: 0027-8424, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1523226113
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 113/4 2019-07-24

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The information about "INTENTIONS IN ACTION" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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