The role of the superior temporal sulcus and the mirror neuron system in imitation

Molenberghs, Pascal, Brander, Christopher, Mattingley, Jason B. and Cunnington, Ross (2010) The role of the superior temporal sulcus and the mirror neuron system in imitation. Human Brain Mapping, 31 9: 1316-1326. doi:10.1002/hbm.20938

Author Molenberghs, Pascal
Brander, Christopher
Mattingley, Jason B.
Cunnington, Ross
Title The role of the superior temporal sulcus and the mirror neuron system in imitation
Journal name Human Brain Mapping   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1065-9471
Publication date 2010-09-01
Year available 2010
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1002/hbm.20938
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 31
Issue 9
Start page 1316
End page 1326
Total pages 11
Place of publication New York
Publisher Wiley-Liss
Language eng
Abstract It has been suggested that in humans the mirror neuron system provides a neural substrate for imitation behaviour, but the relative contributions of different brain regions to the imitation of manual actions is still a matter of debate To investigate the role of the mirror neuron system in imitation we used fMRI to examine patterns of neural activity under four different conditions passive observation of a pantomimed action (e.g., hammering a nail), (2) imitation of an observed action, (3) execution of an action in response to a word cue, and (4) self-selected execution of an action A network of cortical areas, including the left supramarginal gyrus, left superior parietal lobule, left dorsal premotor area and bilateral superior temporal sulcus (STS), was significantly active across all four conditions Crucially, within this network the STS bilaterally was the only region in which activity was significantly greater for action imitation than for the passive observation and execution conditions We suggest that the role of the STS in imitation is not merely to passively register observed biological motion, but rather to actively represent visuomotor correspondences between one's own actions and the actions of others Hum Brain Mapp 31.1316-1326, 2010 (C) 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Keyword Fmri, imitation
Mirror neuron system
Event-related Fmri
Hand actions
Action representation
Biological Motion
Pet Exploration
Premotor Cortex
Brain Activity
Parietal Lobe
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Article first published online: 19 JAN 2010

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2011 Collection
Queensland Brain Institute Publications
School of Psychology Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 43 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 55 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Sun, 26 Sep 2010, 10:06:21 EST