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    Task-dependent and distinct roles of the temporoparietal junction and inferior frontal cortex in the control of imitation

    Hogeveen, J. and Obhi, S.S. and Banissy, M.J. and Santiesteban, I. and Press, Clare and Catmur, C. and Bird, Geoffrey (2015) Task-dependent and distinct roles of the temporoparietal junction and inferior frontal cortex in the control of imitation. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience 10 (7), pp. 1003-1009. ISSN 1749-5016.

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    The control of neurological networks supporting social cognition is crucially important for social interaction. In particular, the control of imitation is directly linked to interaction quality, with impairments associated with disorders characterized by social difficulties. Previous work suggests inferior frontal cortex (IFC) and the temporoparietal junction (TPJ) are involved in controlling imitation, but the functional roles of these areas remain unclear. Here, transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) was used to enhance cortical excitability at IFC and the TPJ prior to the completion of three tasks: 1) a naturalistic social interaction during which increased imitation is known to improve rapport, 2) a choice reaction time task in which imitation needs to be inhibited for successful performance, and 3) a non-imitative control task. Relative to sham stimulation, stimulating IFC improved the context-dependent control of imitation – participants imitated more during the social interaction and less during the imitation inhibition task. In contrast, stimulating the TPJ reduced imitation in the inhibition task without affecting imitation during social interaction. Neither stimulation site affected the non-imitative control task. These data support a model in which IFC modulates imitation directly according to task demands, whereas TPJ controls task-appropriate shifts in attention towards representation of the self or the other, indirectly impacting upon imitation.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Imitation, mimicry, mirror system, transcranial direct current stimulation, temporoparietal junction, inferior frontal cortex
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: Brain and Cognitive Development, Centre for (CBCD)
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 08 Dec 2014 13:05
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:14


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