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Dissociable roles of human inferior frontal gyrus during action execution and observation

Press, Clare and Weiskopf, N. and Kilner, J.M. (2012) Dissociable roles of human inferior frontal gyrus during action execution and observation. Neuroimage 60 (3), pp. 1671-1677. ISSN 1053-8119.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2012.01.118

Abstract

There has been recent controversy about whether activation in the human inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) and Brodmann Area (BA) 6 when observing actions indicates operation of mirror neurons. Recent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data have demonstrated repetition suppression (RS) effects in posterior IFG which are consistent with the presence of mirror neurons in humans. Here we investigated whether there were similar RS effects elsewhere in the IFG and BA6, or whether, instead, activation in other locations may signal operation of alternative mechanisms. Replicating previous findings, we found RS effects in posterior IFG consistent with the operation of mirror neurons. However, these effects were not found in other locations in IFG and BA6. Additionally, activation patterns in anterior regions of IFG suggested dissociable operations when observing and executing actions. Therefore, caution should be exercised when claiming that activations in many locations during action observation indicate the operation of mirror neurons. Activation may instead reflect alternative mechanisms, such as encoding of the semantic features of actions.

Item Type: Article
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Mirror neuron, Mirror system, Action observation, Repetition suppression, Adaptation, Semantics
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Science > Psychological Sciences
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 31 Oct 2012 12:06
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:26
URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/5509

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