Giacomo Rizzolatti

Giacomo Rizzolatti
Università di Parma | UNIPR · Department of Neurosciences

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414
Publications
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Introduction
Skills and Expertise

Publications

Publications (414)
Article
Full-text available
As cold actions (i.e. actions devoid of an emotional content), also emotions are expressed with different vitality forms. For example, when an individual experiences a positive emotion, such as laughing as expression of happiness, this emotion can be conveyed to others by different intensities of face expressions and body postures. In the present s...
Article
Full-text available
The built environment represents the stage surrounding our everyday life activities. To investigate how architectural design impacts individuals' affective states, we measured subjective judgments of perceived valence (pleasant and unpleasant) and arousal after the dynamic experience of a progressive change of macro visuospatial dimensions of virtu...
Article
Objective To investigate the effects of Action Observation and Motor Imagery administered the day before surgery on functional recovery in patients after total hip arthroplasty. Design Randomised controlled trial. Setting Humanitas Clinical and Research Center, Milan, Italy Participants Eighty inpatients with end-stage hip osteoarthritis undergo...
Article
Full-text available
Motor learning can be defined as a process that leads to relatively permanent changes in motor behavior through repeated interactions with the environment. Different strategies can be adopted to achieve motor learning: movements can be overtly practiced leading to an amelioration of motor performance; alternatively, covert strategies (e.g., action...
Article
Full-text available
Ensuring proper dosage of treatment and repetition over time is a major challenge in neurorehabilitation. However, a requirement of physical distancing to date compromises their achievement. While mostly associated to COVID-19, physical distancing is not only required in a pandemic scenario, but also advised for several clinical conditions (e.g. im...
Chapter
This paper presents a novel approach to support rehabilitation employing Action Observation Therapy (AOT), mixed reality (MR) and wearable technologies to foster common rehabilitative methods in restoring motor function. Here, the platform was specifically designed to support the standard physical treatments in post-stroke patients during upper lim...
Article
Full-text available
Significance In several clinical conditions, especially those related to orthopedic trauma or specific injuries of the peripheral nervous system, patients may experience a period of limb nonuse that has detrimental cascade effects on corticomotor organization and ultimately, on motor performance. During limb nonuse, treatments based on action obser...
Article
Full-text available
Significance Vitality forms represent the different ways in which actions are performed (e.g., gentle, rude). They express the agent’s attitudes toward others. Previous data indicated that vitality forms of hand actions depend on the dorso-central insula. In the present study, we show that in addition to the insula, the middle cingulate cortex is a...
Article
Full-text available
Although clinical neuroscience and the neuroscience of consciousness have long sought mechanistic explanations of tactile-awareness disorders, mechanistic insights are rare, mainly because of the difficulty of depicting the fine-grained neural dynamics underlying somatosensory processes. Here, we combined the stereo-EEG responses to somatosensory s...
Preprint
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE Action observation can sustain motor skill improvement. At the neurophysiological level, action observation affects the excitability of the motor cortices, as measured by transcranial magnetic stimulation. However, whether the cortical modulations induced by action observation may explain the amount of motor improvement dri...
Preprint
Full-text available
The built environment represents the stage surrounding our everyday life activities. To investigate the impact that architectural features have on individuals’ affective states, we measured their judgments of perceived valence (pleasant and unpleasant) and arousal after the dynamic experience of a progressive change of the environment within virtua...
Poster
Full-text available
Social interactions rely on the capacity to communicate our attitude or intentions and to evaluate those of others. This behavioral exchange is based on different action and speech dynamics, defined vitality forms by Stern. For example, offering an apple can be performed kindly or rudely, according to the positive or negative attitude of the agent....
Article
Full-text available
In previous studies on auditory vitality forms, we found that listening to action verbs pronounced gently or rudely, produced, relative to a neutral robotic voice, activation of the dorso-central insula. One might wonder whether this insular activation depends on the conjunction of action verbs and auditory vitality forms, or whether auditory vital...
Article
Full-text available
Cognitive abilities are essential to children's overall growth; thus, the implementation of early and effective training interventions is a major challenge for developmental psychologists and teachers. This study explores whether an intervention simultaneously operating on fluid reasoning (FR), visuospatial, narrative, and motor abilities could boo...
Article
While it is well documented that the motor system is more than a mere implementer of motor actions, the possible applications of its cognitive side are still under-exploited, often remaining as poorly organized evidence. Here, we will collect evidence showing the value of action observation treatment (AOT) in the recovery of impaired motor abilitie...
Article
Full-text available
Significance Action vitality forms are highly pervasive aspects of daily life and have been widely assumed to be critical for basic social interactions. Previous evidence indicates that ASD children express their own vitality forms in a way that is motorically dissimilar to TD children. Here we demonstrate that this motor dissimilarity prevents neu...
Article
Here we describe a rare case of Capgras delusion – a misidentification syndrome characterized by the belief that a person has been replaced by an imposter – in a patient without evident neurological or psychiatric symptoms. Intriguingly, delusional belief was selective for both person and modality, as the patient believed that his son – not his dau...
Article
Full-text available
The properties of the secondary somatosensory area (SII) have been described by many studies in monkeys and humans. Recent studies on monkeys, however, showed that beyond somatosensory stimuli, SII responds to a wider number of stimuli, a finding requiring a revision that human SII is purely sensorimotor. By recording cortical activity with stereot...
Article
Full-text available
Unlike emotions, which are short-lasting events accompanied by viscero-motor responses, vitality forms are continuous internal states that modulate the motor behaviors of individuals and are devoid of the autonomic modifications that characterize real emotions. Despite the importance of vitality forms in social life, only recently have neurophysiol...
Chapter
Synopsis In this chapter we describe the anatomical and functional characteristics of the Posterior Parietal Cortex (PPC) of macaque monkeys and humans. We critically discuss the classical notion that the posterior parietal lobule is an association region, and contrast it with the more recent view that PPC is endowed with motor properties. We concl...
Article
Full-text available
During social interactions, actions and words can be expressed in different ways, for example gently, vigorously or rudely communicating the positive or negative attitude of the agent. These forms of communication are called vitality forms and play a crucial role in social relations. While the neural bases of speech and actions vitality forms have...
Article
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Article
Aim To evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of an action observation treatment (AOT) home‐based platform promoting child‐to‐child interaction to improve hand motor function in unilateral cerebral palsy (CP). Method Twenty children (14 males, six females; mean age 6y 7mo, standard deviation 1y 7mo; range 5y 1mo–10y 6mo) with unilateral CP und...
Article
Full-text available
Information about objects around us is essential for planning actions and for predicting those of others. Here, we studied pre-supplementary motor area F6 neurons with a task in which monkeys viewed and grasped (or refrained from grasping) objects, and then observed a human doing the same task. We found “action-related neurons” encoding selectively...
Article
Full-text available
In the present study, we mapped the spatio-temporal dynamics of cortical responses to ipsilateral median nerve stimulation using intracerebral recordings (stereo-EEG) in 38 drug-resistant epileptic patients. Furthermore, we compared the pattern of responsiveness obtained in the same leads across ipsilateral and contralateral stimulations. Ipsilater...
Article
The objective of the present work was to identify electroencephalographic (EEG) components in order to distinguish between braking and accelerating intention in simulated car driving. To do so, we collected high-density EEG data from thirty participants while they were driving in a car simulator. The EEG was separated into independent components th...
Article
Full-text available
During action observation, several visual features of observed actions can modulate the level of sensorimotor reactivity in the onlooker. Among possibly relevant parameters, one of the less investigated in humans is the visual perspective from which actions are observed. In the present EEG study, we assessed the reactivity of alpha and beta mu rhyt...
Article
Full-text available
The cingulate cortex is a mosaic of different anatomical fields, whose functional characterization is still a matter of debate. In humans, one method that may provide useful insights on the role of the different cingulate regions, and to tackle the issue of the functional differences between its anterior, middle and posterior subsectors, is intraco...
Article
Full-text available
In this review, we discuss first the anatomical and lesion studies that allowed the localization of fundamental functions in the cerebral cortex of primates including humans. Subsequently, we argue that the years from the end of the Second World War until the end of the last century represented the “golden age” of system neuroscience. In this perio...
Article
Full-text available
It has been recently found that the human dorso-central insular cortex contributes to the execution and recognition of the affective component of hand actions, most likely through modulation of the activity of the parieto-frontal circuits. While the anatomical connections between the hand representation of the insula and, the parietal and frontal r...
Chapter
The mirror mechanism is a basic mechanism that transforms sensory representations of others' actions into motor representations of the same actions in the brain of the observer. The mirror mechanism plays an important role in understanding actions of others. In the present chapter we discuss first the basic organization of the posterior parietal lo...
Article
Full-text available
Here we show how anatomical and functional data recorded from patients undergoing stereo-EEG can be used to decompose the cortical processing following nerve stimulation in different stages characterized by specific topography and time course. Tibial, median and trigeminal nerves were stimulated in 96 patients, and the increase in gamma power was e...
Poster
Full-text available
Actions can be expressed with different forms: for example gently or rudely. These forms has been named “vitality forms” by Stern (1985, 2010). In previous fMRI studies in humans, it has been demonstrated that the perception and the execution of reaching-grasping actions performed with different vitality forms activated the left dorso-central insul...
Article
Full-text available
Grasping is the most important skilled motor act of primates. It is based on a series of sensorimotor transformations through which the affordances of the objects to be grasped are transformed into appropriate hand movements. It is generally accepted that a circuit formed by inferior parietal areas AIP and PFG and ventral premotor area F5 represent...
Article
The aim of the present review is to discuss the localization of circuits that allow recognition of emotional facial expressions in blindsight patients. Because recognition of facial expressions is function of different centers, and their localization is not always clear, we decided to discuss here three emotional facial expression - smiling, disgus...
Article
Full-text available
A description of the spatiotemporal dynamics of human cortical activity during cognitive tasks is a fundamental goal of neuroscience. In the present study, we employed stereo-EEG in order to assess the neural activity during tool-action observation. We recorded from 49 epileptic patients (5502 leads) implanted with intracerebral electrodes, while t...
Article
Full-text available
Action and speech may take different forms, being expressed, for example, gently or rudely. These aspects of social communication, named vitality forms, have been little studied in neuroscience. In the present fMRI study, we investigated the role of insula in processing action and speech vitality forms. In speech runs participants were asked to lis...
Chapter
The mirror mechanism is a basic mechanism that transforms sensory representations of the observed or listened actions into motor representations of the same actions. In the present chapter we review evidence for the role of the mirror mechanism in emotion and in goal-directed actions in nonhuman primates and humans. We examine the functions, such a...
Chapter
The view of the functions of the motor system has radically changed in past years. It is now clear that the motor system not only is a “producer” of movements but also is involved in cognitive functions. In this chapter we review the anatomical and functional organization of the cortical motor system in monkeys and humans with particular emphasis o...
Article
It was recently proposed that the neural substrate mediating smile production might play a key role also in the recognition of others' smile. This hypothesis, however, has been challenged by difficulties in eliciting ecological smiling in standard laboratory settings. Here we report of a case where these difficulties were overcome by combining elec...
Poster
This study investigates the properties of Mirror Neurons of are Pre-SMA F6 during the observation of a go/no-go reaching-grasping task performed in both the: a) extrapersonal space; b) peripersonal space.
Article
The mirror mechanism is a basic brain mechanism that transforms sensory representations of others' behaviour into one's own motor or visceromotor representations concerning that behaviour. According to its location in the brain, it may fulfil a range of cognitive functions, including action and emotion understanding. In each case, it may enable a r...
Article
Full-text available
Grasping relies on a network of parieto-frontal areas lying on the dorsolateral and dorsomedial parts of the hemispheres. However, the initiation and sequencing of voluntary actions also requires the contribution of mesial premotor regions, particularly the pre-supplementary motor area F6. We recorded 233 F6 neurons from 2 monkeys with chronic line...
Poster
Full-text available
The internal state of others can be understood observing their actions or listening to the tone of their voice. While the neural bases of action style (vitality forms) has been recently investigated, there is no information on how we perceive others’ internal states by listening to their speech and how we express our own states by speaking. Here, w...
Article
The internal state of others can be understood observing their actions or listening to their voice. While the neural bases of action style (vitality forms) have been investigated, there is no information on how we recognize others’ internal state by listening to their speech. Here, using fMRI technique, we investigated the neural correlates of audi...
Data
Signal change during (A) vitality task vs. implicit baseline and (B) velocity task vs. implicit baseline (fixation cross). These activations (PFDR < 0.05) are rendered into a Talairach brain template.
Data
Regression graphs. Graphs depict the logarithmic relation between participants’ judgments during the tasks [vitality task (A), velocity task (B)] and action execution time (ms). For each execution time, points indicates participants mean score (very rude/very fast = 5; rude/fast = 4; neutral/medium = 3; gentle/slow = 2; very gentle/very slow = 1)....
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this study was to investigate the contribution of stereopsis to the processing of observed manipulative actions. To this end, we first combined the factors “stimulus type” (action, static control, and dynamic control), “stereopsis” (present, absent) and “viewpoint” (frontal, lateral) into a single design. Four sites in premotor, retr...
Article
Full-text available
Observing how an action is done by others allows the observer to understand the cognitive state of the agent. This information, carried by the kinematics of the observed action, has been defined by Stern “vitality forms”. In the present experiment we presented participants with videos showing hand actions performed with different velocities and ask...
Article
Full-text available
A fine-grained description of the spatiotemporal dynamics of human brain activity is a major goal of neuroscientific research. Limitations in spatial and temporal resolution of available noninvasive recording and imaging techniques have hindered so far the acquisition of precise, comprehensive four-dimensional maps of human neural activity. The pre...
Article
Understanding others' actions is a fundamental aspect of social life. It is traditionally claimed that action understanding is based on the observers' capability to infer others' mental states. Often, however, we understand others directly without resorting to inferential processes. Evidence for direct understanding of others will be presented. Mon...
Article
The frontal lobe of primates consists of two large regions, a rostral region involved in cognitive functions (prefrontal lobe) and a caudal region mostly devoted to motor functions (agranular frontal cortex). This last region is formed, posteriorly, by the primary motor cortex and, anteriorly, by a mosaic of distinct areas called premotor areas. Pr...
Article
Action recognition has received enormous interest in the field of neuroscience over the last two decades. In spite of this interest, the knowledge in terms of fundamental neural mechanisms that provide constraints for underlying computations remains rather limited. This fact stands in contrast with a wide variety of speculative theories about how a...
Article
Full-text available
Vitality form is a term that describes the style with which motor actions are performed (e.g., rude, gentle, etc.). They represent one characterizing element of conscious and unconscious bodily communication. Despite their importance in interpersonal