Activation patterns during action observation are modulated by context in mirror system areas

Molenberghs, Pascal, Hayward, Lydia, Mattingley, Jason B. and Cunnington, Ross (2012) Activation patterns during action observation are modulated by context in mirror system areas. NeuroImage, 59 1: 608-615. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2011.07.080

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Author Molenberghs, Pascal
Hayward, Lydia
Mattingley, Jason B.
Cunnington, Ross
Title Activation patterns during action observation are modulated by context in mirror system areas
Journal name NeuroImage   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1053-8119
Publication date 2012-01-02
Year available 2011
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2011.07.080
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 59
Issue 1
Start page 608
End page 615
Total pages 8
Editor Raja Parasuraman
James Christensen
Scott Grafton
Place of publication Maryland Heights, MO, United States
Publisher Academic Press
Language eng
Abstract The role of the mirror system in action understanding has been widely debated. Some authors have suggested that the mirror system plays an important role in action understanding (Rizzolatti and Sinigaglia, 2010), whereas others have claimed that direct evidence to support this view is lacking (Hickok, 2009). If mirror neurons have an active role in action understanding rather than passive visuomotor transformation during action observation, they should respond differently to the observation of actions depending on the intentions of the observer. In this fMRI study, twenty participants observed identical actions under different instruction contexts. The task was either to understand the actions, identify the physical features of the actions, or passively observe the actions. A multi-voxel pattern analysis revealed unique patterns of activation in ventral premotor cortex and inferior parietal lobule across the different contexts. The results suggest that ventral premotor and inferior parietal areas respond differently to observed actions depending on the mindset of the observer. This is consistent with the view that these regions do not merely process observed actions passively, but play an active role in action understanding.
Keyword fMRI
Perception of action
Mirror system
Action understanding
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Grant ID 511148
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Available online 5 August 2011. Special issue - Neuroergonomics: The human brain in action and at work.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Queensland Brain Institute Publications
Official 2012 Collection
School of Psychology Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 18 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 21 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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