Intentionally not imitating: Insula cortex engaged for top-down control of action mirroring

Campbell, Megan E. J., Mehrkanoon, Steve and Cunnington, Ross (2018) Intentionally not imitating: Insula cortex engaged for top-down control of action mirroring. Neuropsychologia, 111 241-251. doi:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2018.01.037

Author Campbell, Megan E. J.
Mehrkanoon, Steve
Cunnington, Ross
Title Intentionally not imitating: Insula cortex engaged for top-down control of action mirroring
Journal name Neuropsychologia   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1873-3514
Publication date 2018-01-30
Year available 2018
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2018.01.037
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 111
Start page 241
End page 251
Total pages 11
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Pergamon Press
Language eng
Subject 3205 Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
2805 Cognitive Neuroscience
2802 Behavioral Neuroscience
Abstract Perception and action are inextricably linked, down to the level of single cells which have both visual and motor response properties - dubbed 'mirror neurons'. The mirror neuron system is generally associated with direct-matching or resonance between observed and executed actions (and goals). Yet in everyday interactions responding to another's movements with matching actions (or goals) is not always appropriate. Here we examine processes associated with intentionally not imitating, as separable from merely detecting an observed action as mismatching one's own. Using fMRI, we test how matched and mismatched stimulus-response mapping for actions is modulated depending on task-relevance. Participants were either cued to intentionally copy or oppose a presented action (intentional imitation or counter-imitation), or cued to perform a predefined action regardless of the presented action (incidental imitation or counter-imitation). We found distinct cortical networks underlying imitation compared to counter-imitation, involving areas typically associated with an action observation network and widespread occipital activation. Intentionally counter-imitating particularly involved frontal-parietal networks, including the insula and cingulate cortices. This task-dependent recruitment of frontal networks for the intentional selection of opposing responses supports previous evidence for the preparatory suppression of imitative responses. Sensorimotor mirroring is modulated via control processes, which complex human interactions often require.
Keyword Inferior Frontal Gyrus
Inferior Parietal Lobule
Insula Cortex
Mid-Cingulate Cortex
Mirror neuron system
Supplementary Motor Area
action execution
action observation
cognitive control
motor planning
response inhibition
response selection
top-down modulation
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Grant ID SR12030015
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
Queensland Brain Institute Publications
School of Psychology Publications
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Created: Wed, 14 Feb 2018, 11:09:10 EST