ArticleLiterature Review

Neurophysiological Mechanisms Underlying the Understanding and Imitation of Action

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Abstract

What are the neural bases of action understanding? Although this capacity could merely involve visual analysis of the action, it has been argued that we actually map this visual information onto its motor representation in our nervous system. Here we discuss evidence for the existence of a system, the 'mirror system', that seems to serve this mapping function in primates and humans, and explore its implications for the understanding and imitation of action.

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... Mirror neurons assist individuals in comprehending the feelings, intentions and actions of others. When people do an action, such as holding an apple, their mirror neurons activate similarly to when they observe others perform the same (Rizzolatti et al., 2001). The other investigations demonstrated that the brain underpinning of empathy is found in mirror neurons, which fire when an action is performed and when someone is witnessed to perform the same action. ...
... Thus, neurons mimic one another's behaviors to the point that they become ours or as ours. It permits us to infer the underlying desires emotions, and beliefs (Carlson et al., 2020;Karimova et al., 2020;Rizzolatti & Laila, 2004;Rizzolatti et al., 2001). ...
... Both the agent and the observer have a common motor representation of the action performed by the agent. Additionally, this neurological similarity (or shared motor representation) is believed to offer the observer with a complete knowledge of the executed action's meaning, such as a representation of the action's intent, which a solely visual analysis is alleged to be incapable of providing (Rizzolatti et al., 2001). ...
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Public littering has become an ongoing problem, especially in Thailand. Littering is caused by the human behavior of disposing of waste improperly. A key influence on littering is a sense of responsibility depending on internal feelings, beliefs, and morality to their societal experiences, which are generated by biological processes, primarily within their brain functions. The research rationale aimed to study the empathetic process of human beings related to mirror neuron morality (MNM). Interestingly, if this research knows how to develop moral awareness and readiness of waste management, this study revealed that a short video clip was one activator for the MNM. The evidence in this study confirmed that the MNM could be activated by watching the one minute of video affective and somatic empathy with silent speech and human movement, which can effectively activate the MNM in terms of cognitive empathy and readiness to act. Furthermore, in this study, habitual activities such as brain exercise were practiced in waste segregation at home could induce the mirror neurons activation of the self- engagement index, which is consisted of selfless behavior or altruism prompted by many vicarious learning cycles and want to act as self-moral readiness. However, to create an effective moral development, further dimensions of the real action of waste segregation are required, such as public engagement by providing the different levels of public responses, environmental actions are taken, and environmental policies after watching the valuable information.
... These regions greatly overlap with the salience network [53], the default mode network [54], the frontoparietal network [55] and brain systems involved in self-related processing as well as in personal emotional experiences [56,57]. Shared circuits for the processing of self-and otherrelated information additionally include (pre)motor and somatosensory cortices as part of the mirror neuron system (MNS), which overlaps with fronto-parietal and somatomotor networks [58][59][60][61]. ...
... The functions of the fronto-parietal network are usually attributed to working memory, sustained attention, task-relevant information maintenance [100] and flexible task control [101]. Notably, it also overlaps with the MNS (e.g., inferior frontal cortex, premotor cortex, inferior parietal cortex [56,60,61]. Brain regions of the MNS putatively allow establishing a vital link between self and others during social interaction through a sensorimotor resonance with others' experiences and basic motor intentions [7,35,102]. ...
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Citation: Ebisch, S.J.H.; Scalabrini, A.; Northoff, G.; Mucci, C.; Sergi, M.R.; Saggino, A.; Aquino, A.; Alparone, F.R.; Perrucci, M.G.; Gallese, V.; Di Plinio, S.
... These regions greatly overlap with the salience network (Uddin and Menon, 2010), the default mode network (Raichle et al. 2001;Qin and Northoff 2011), the fronto-parietal network (Di Plinio and Ebisch 2018), and brain systems involved in selfrelated processing as well as in personal emotional experiences (Uddin et al. 2007;Northoff and Panksepp 2008). Shared circuits for the processing of self-and other-related information additionally include (pre)motor and somatosensory cortices as part of the mirror neuron system (MNS), which overlaps with fronto-parietal and somatomotor networks (Keysers and Gazzola 2009;Gallese and Sinigaglia 2011;Rizzolatti et al. 2001;Molenberghs et al. 2012). ...
... The functions of the fronto-parietal network are usually attributed to working memory, sustained attention, and task-relevant information maintenance (Marek and Dosenbach 2018) and flexible task control (Zanto and Gazzaley 2013). Notably, it also overlaps with the MNS (e.g., inferior frontal cortex, premotor cortex, inferior parietal cortex; Uddin et al. 2007;Rizzolatti et al. 2001;Molenberghs et al. 2012). Brain regions of the MNS putatively allow to establish a vital link between self and other during social interaction through a sensorimotor resonance with others' experiences and basic motor intentions (Gallese 2003(Gallese , 2007Rizzolatti and Sinigaglia 2010). ...
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Trait empathy is an essential personality feature in the intricacy of typical social inclinations of individuals. Empathy is likely supported by multilevel neuronal network functioning, whereas local topological properties determine network integrity. In the present functional MRI study (N=116), we aimed to trace empathic traits to the intrinsic brain network architecture. Empathy was conceived as composed of two dimensions within the concept of pre-reflective, intersubjective understanding. Vicarious experience consists of the tendency to resonate with the feelings of other individuals, whereas intuitive understanding refers to a natural awareness of others’ emotional states. Analyses of graph theoretical measures of centrality showed a relationship between the fronto-parietal network and psychometric measures of vicarious experience, whereas intuitive understanding was associated with sensorimotor and subcortical networks. Salience network regions could constitute hubs for information processing underlying both dimensions. The network properties related to empathy dimensions mainly concerned inter-network information flow. Moreover, interaction effects implied several gender differences in the relationship between functional network organization and trait empathy. These results reveal that distinct intrinsic topological network features explain individual differences in separate dimensions of intersubjective understanding. The findings could help to understand the impact of brain damage or stimulation through alterations of empathy-related network integrity.
... This psychological analysis has recently been complemented by amazing evidence from the field of neuroscience. Since 1996, with the discovery of mirror neurons, evidence has been collected about mirror processes, pervasive in brain activity (for a global perspective, consider Rizzolatti et al., 2001;also Hirstein, 2005, p. 106). These mirror processes work by simulating, in the perceiving self, the same attitudes, intentions, thoughts, and feelings they imagine the other, whom the self is with, is having. ...
... Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), positron emission tomography (PET), Mu-wave analysis 2 , and other imagological procedures have shown that the majority of these processes occur in 2. "At rest, sensorimotor neurons spontaneously synchrony, leading to large-amplitude electroence fire in phalo gram oscillations in the 8-13Hz (mu) frequency band." (Oberman, 2007, p. 63) primordial parts of the brain (limbic and paralim bic), meaning that this kind of mental process ori ginated with the beginning of our species; the part of the brain responsible for mimicking others' ges tures exists even in primates (Rizzolatti et al., 2001;Singer, 2006;Oberman, 2007;Shanton & Goldman, 2010;Kilner & Lemon, 2013). The mirror system (despite some disagreement between neuroscien tists [cf. ...
... This psychological analysis has recently been complemented by amazing evidence from the field of neuroscience. Since 1996, with the discovery of mirror neurons, evidence has been collected about mirror processes, pervasive in brain activity (for a global perspective, consider Rizzolatti et al., 2001;also Hirstein, 2005, p. 106). These mirror processes work by simulating, in the perceiving self, the same attitudes, intentions, thoughts, and feelings they imagine the other, whom the self is with, is having. ...
... Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), positron emission tomography (PET), Mu-wave analysis 2 , and other imagological procedures have shown that the majority of these processes occur in 2. "At rest, sensorimotor neurons spontaneously synchrony, leading to large-amplitude electroence fire in phalo gram oscillations in the 8-13Hz (mu) frequency band." (Oberman, 2007, p. 63) primordial parts of the brain (limbic and paralim bic), meaning that this kind of mental process ori ginated with the beginning of our species; the part of the brain responsible for mimicking others' ges tures exists even in primates (Rizzolatti et al., 2001;Singer, 2006;Oberman, 2007;Shanton & Goldman, 2010;Kilner & Lemon, 2013). The mirror system (despite some disagreement between neuroscien tists [cf. ...
... Par ailleurs, les sensations positives provoquées par un spectacle de dance, ou la gêne physique ressentie lorsque l'on voit quelqu'un qui se fait mal s'expliquent par l'activité des neurones miroirs (Rizzolatti, Fogassi, & Gallese, 2001) grâce auxquels voir quelqu'un exécuter une action, l'exécuter soi-même ou l'imaginer sollicite l'activité des mêmes zones corticales, notamment les cortex prémoteur, moteur et pariétal (Rastier, 2005, p. 242 être classés comme appartenant à une même famille ou champ, tous localisés à proximité de la tête, dans la zone de la tempe ou du front, ce qui témoigne de l'association courante de la pensée avec ces parties du corps dans la majorité des cultures (Axtell, 1993) (Bouvet, 1997). Une grande affinité de gestes représentant des actions physiques quotidiennes et illustrant certains verbes abstraits permet de constater que la relation entre les gestes iconiques et les emblèmes reste fluide et dynamique dans la mesure où une représentation gestuelle fréquente de certains concepts peut mener à une fixation d'un geste iconique qui perd progressivement ses traits illustrateurs pour devenir de plus en plus emblématique, jusqu'à ce que la relation de représentation soit complétement estompée (Kendon, 2013) (Sonesson, 2014) (Müller, 2018). ...
... Il se peut donc que les gestes produits lors d'un échange soient utilisés simultanément, mais sans rapport apparent avec le discours, ou bien que leur usage fasse partie du processus énonciatif en l'appuyant ou régulant (Cosnier, 1977(Cosnier, , p. 2035 Cosnier et J. Vayasse (1997) Les gestes communicatifs 72 dans la nomenclature de J. Cosnier (1997, p. 11) Le premier de ces phénomènes rend compte de la synchronie des productions gestuelles avec la parole du même énonciateur, ce qui a été évoqué par D. McNeill (1992) et S. Kita (1998) décrivant la mise en place du stroke précisément au moment où l'on perçoit l'accent vocal dans le discours verbal. En revanche, l'hétérosynchronie 75 , désigne une certaine coordination des productions non-verbales mises en place respectivement par les interactants, ce qui donne la place à ce que l'auteur appelle une danse des interlocuteurs, désignée également comme le jeu de miroir dans la mesure où, sur le plan neuropsychologique, elle est une conséquence du fonctionnement des neurones miroirs dans le cerveau humain (Rizzolatti, Fogassi, & Gallese, 2001) (Rizzolatti & Gallese, 2007) (Rizzolatti & Sinigaglia, 2008 ...
Thesis
L'analyse scientifique des unités non-verbales occupe une place encore marginale au sein des études d'interprétation. Or, le contexte éminemment interculturel des interactions exolingues interprétées exige de reconnaître le caractère multimodal des énoncés-sources pour en analyser les paramètres d'influence. Interdisciplinaire, le présent travail se propose d'examiner les modalités de prise en compte de la gestualité co-verbale dans la pratique professionnelle des interprètes en service public (ISP). Sur le plan théorique, cette recherche se donne pour objectif de tracer le chemin d'évolution du paradigme d'interprète allant d'un être transparent, jusqu'au médiateur interculturel. Elle s'articule par ailleurs autour de l'analyse du non-verbal au travers du prisme des modèles de la communication et de celui des études des propriétés sémiotiques des unités de sens du système visuel. Ces opérations mènent à élaborer une typologie des gestes observables en ISP, inspirée des classements avancés par des gestualistes tels que D. McNeill, J. Cosnier et F. Poyatos. La méthode adoptée repose sur une triangulation de données, impliquant d'abord une enquête menée auprès de 60 interprètes professionnels, des entretiens individuels ensuite, et enfin un corpus multimodal. L'analyse qui en découle permet de révéler des différences fondamentales entre la production d'une part et les perspectives de la perception des gestes co-verbaux d'autre part. Le corpus audiovisuel réunit ici des interactions authentiques et d'autres semi-contrôlées, en contexte médical, social et policier, impliquant 16 langues de travail différentes. L'analyse des séquences vidéo d'une durée totale de 13015 secondes, annotées à l'aide du logiciel ELAN, permet d'établir les profils gestuels des acteurs et d'examiner les schémas et les contextes de reproduction des gestes par les interprètes, pour en déduire des récurrences. Les résultats de l'étude suggèrent ainsi que la gestualité co-verbale participe aux processus de co-construction et de négociation du sens, facilite la médiation interculturelle et contribue à l'élaboration des relations de confiance dans des situations d'asymétrie de pouvoir. C'est pourquoi, la sensibilisation à la place inhérente du non-verbal dans les interactions en service public devrait faire partie de la formation des interprètes dont la mission essentielle consiste à assurer une médiation efficace, non seulement entre des systèmes linguistiques différents mais aussi entre des univers culturels distincts.
... Similarly, the observation of an action performed by others activates our own motor system (Heyes, 2011). This phenomenon of motor resonance was first evidenced by studies demonstrating the existence of mirror neurons in monkeys (Gallese et al., 1996;Rizzolatti et al., 2001) and humans (Heyes, 2010;Kilner et al., 2009), activating both during the execution of a movement but also when they observed the same action generated by others. In the same way, the execution of an action can be hindered by the observation of another action by others through motor contagion . ...
Article
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The vast expansion of research in human-robot interactions (HRI) these last decades has been accompanied by the design of increasingly skilled robots for engaging in joint actions with humans. However, these advances have encountered significant challenges to ensure fluent interactions and sustain human motivation through the different steps of joint action. After exploring current literature on joint action in HRI, leading to a more precise definition of these challenges, the present article proposes some perspectives borrowed from psychology and philosophy showing the key role of communication in human interactions. From mutual recognition between individuals to the expression of commitment and social expectations, we argue that communicative cues can facilitate coordination, prediction, and motivation in the context of joint action. The description of several notions thus suggests that some communicative capacities can be implemented in the context of joint action for HRI, leading to an integrated perspective of robotic communication.
... During an AO session, patients carefully observe movements performed by an actor, which in some cases they try to imitate physically later. Inside our brain, we map the representation of what we see onto motor systems, gaining knowledge of those actions by executing them internally [9]. From that concept, it has been widely demonstrated that the link between observation and action can promote motor learning [10]. ...
Article
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During Action Observation (AO), patients observe human movements that they then try to imitate physically. Until now, few studies have investigated the effectiveness of it in Parkinson’s disease (PD). However, due to the diversity of interventions, it is unclear how the dose and characteristics can affect its efficiency. We investigated the AO protocols used in PD, by discussing the intervention features and the outcome measures in relation to their efficacy. A search was conducted through MEDLINE, Scopus, Cochrane, and WoS until November 2021, for RCTs with AO interventions. Participant’s characteristics, treatment features, outcome measures, and main results were extracted from each study. Results were gathered into a quantitative synthesis (MD and 95% CI) for each time point. Seven studies were included in the review, with 227 participants and a mean PEDro score of 6.7. These studies reported positive effects of AO in PD patients, mainly on walking ability and typical motor signs of PD like freezing of gait. However, disagreements among authors exist, mainly due to the heterogeneity of the intervention features. In overall, AO improves functional abilities and motor control in PD patients, with the intervention dose and the characteristics of the stimulus playing a decisive role in its efficacy
... The theory of the perception and emotion of music got grounds in the perception-action theory which spelled out that mirror neurons are related to musical emotions (Preston & de Waal, 2002;Vickhoff, 2008). The mirror neurons make us ready to mimic movement patterns (Rizzolatti et al., 2001). Mimicking through mirror neurons is known as resonance behaviour. ...
Article
One of the academic disciplines in the Colleges of Education Curriculum in Ghana that are structured to equip a trained teacher to fit properly at the Early Childhood Education Centers and the Basic Schools is Music and Dance. Due to its nature, it plays a dual role as a course of study and also serves as a form of entertainment during other school programmes where student music groups perform to grace the occasion. However, the study of music seems to be a bane among the students of Nusrat Jahan Ahmadiyya College of Education, Wa. They are ambivalent about receiving music instructions, probably, as a result of their religious and cultural inclination. Based on the theory of the perception and emotion of music, the author puts forward how Muslim and Christian students respond to music. Data were collected through interviews and participant observation. It is realized that Christian students embrace all forms of music but Muslim students frown on art music and the playing of Western musical instruments. They however welcome and join Christian students in the performance of traditional music and also enjoy recorded Ghanaian contemporary music. The discourse concludes that due to Muslim students' perspectives of music, the formation and organization of music groups on campus has become burdensome.
... The involvement of the premotor cortex in anticipating observed actions within a predictable context has been interpreted as mirror neuron activity (Kilner et al., 2004;Krol et al., 2020;Maranesi et al., 2014;Rizzolatti et al., 2001). This is in line with a computational approach assuming that the mirror neuron system uses predictions to infer intentions from observed movements (Kilner et al., 2007). ...
Article
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Based on our prior experiences we form social expectations and anticipate another person’s response. Under certain conditions, these expectations can be so strong that they lead to illusory perception of another person who is actually not there (i.e., seeing a Bayesian ghost). We used EEG to investigate the neural correlates of such illusory social perception. Our results showed that activation of the premotor cortex predicted the occurrence of the Bayesian ghost, whereas its actual appearance was later accompanied by activation in sensorimotor and adjacent parietal regions. These findings confirm that our perception of others is so strongly affected by prior expectations, that they can prompt illusory social perceptions associated with activity change in brain regions relevant for action perception. They also contribute to a better understanding of social interaction in healthy individuals as well as persons with mental illnesses, which can be characterized by illusory perception and social interaction difficulties.
... Based on this network, motor representations of the observed action are activated, and thus, the observed action is simulated (Jeannerod, 2001), or mirrored (Rizzolatti, 2005). This process enables the understanding of actions, the prediction of actions, and enables people to infer the action intention of an interacting partner (Rizzolatti et al., 2001). Stimulating brain areas of the AON with tES could be a way to increase anticipation ability when observing sport actions. ...
Article
Transcranial electrical stimulation (tES) is widely used to explore the role of various cortical regions involved in a multitude of motor and cognitive processes. Recently, tES has been discussed as being able to potentially enhance performance in sports and even been suggested as a potential way of boosting performance in competitions. In this scoping review, we systematically investigate the literature on tES-induced performance modulations on Olympic sports. The aim is to create a critical overview of the emerging field of tES-enhanced sports performance. Further, methodological approaches, research desiderata, and potential directions for future research will be identified. The final dataset shows a large variation in methodology and a lack of research into the area. Further, partially sub-optimal choices in study design, methodology, and lacking consistency in reporting procedures may impede valid conclusions and obscured the effects of tES on Olympic sports. Consequently, we outline future directions and areas to improve research.
... As a consequence, we can also confirm that linguistic performance is strongly related to sensorimotor processes [4]. And at the bottom of this mechanism, imitation emerges as a fundamental and social way of learning new heuristics [5]. Such imitation mechanism has neuronal support: mirror neurons, located at F5 area [6,7], at least for grasping actions. ...
Article
Self-adaptive behavior can be defined as the behavior that allows an agent to adapt to a context using her/his/its resources. The property of being ‘selfadaptive’ implies considering some preliminary sources or elicitors for such skill. In the case of machine learning, all the learning or self-adaptive behavior mechanisms are related to algorithmic models of mathematical nature, while in the case of humans more subtle neurochemical and symbolic processes (logical and linguistic) are present. The purpose of this paper is to offer a theoretical analysis of the basic mechanisms related to learning processes, always oriented towards the creation of artificial cognitive systems which can implement such bioinspired mechanisms. Parafunctionality is the key innovative concept we introduce for applying bioinspired cognition to machine learning exploring a real mechanism still unexplored.
... The occurrence that experts gain superior perceptual abilities concerning the domain they regularly practice is understandable. The close link between action and perception is hardly up for debate [32][33][34] , and this relationship is further pronounced in the role of expertise, as expert behaviours are mostly directed towards specific targets. As such, perceptual mechanisms in experts tend to adapt to the niches of the action patterns that are performed regularly 35 . ...
Article
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The use of magic effects to investigate the blind spots in attention and perception and roadblocks in the cognition of the spectator has yielded thought-provoking results elucidating how these techniques operate. However, little is known about the interplay between experience practising magic and being deceived by magic effects. In this study, we performed two common sleight of hand effects and their real transfer counterparts to non-magicians, and to magicians with a diverse range of experience practising magic. Although, as a group, magicians identified the sleights of hand as deceptive actions significantly more than non-magicians; this ability was only evidenced in magicians with more than 5 years in the craft. However, unlike the rest of the participants, experienced magicians had difficulty correctly pinpointing the location of the coin in one of the real transfers presented. We hypothesise that this might be due to the inherent ambiguity of this transfer, in which, contrary to the other real transfer performed, no clear perceptive clue is given about the location of the coin. We suggest that extensive time practising magic might have primed experienced magicians to anticipate foul play when observing ambiguous movements, even when the actions observed are genuine.
... 24 Recently, two systematic reviews regarding the effectiveness of AOT in the UL rehabilitation of children with cerebral palsy were published: the first emphasises that the variability between studies does not lead to any clear conclusion regarding the effectiveness of this approach, 25 while the second suggests that AOT is a promising intervention for UL rehabilitation in children with UCP. 26 Standard AOT consists in the observation of a typically developed model (TDM); however, an important assumption of AOT is that the MNS activates when the visual description of the observed action is matched with its corresponding motor representation in the observer's brain (direct matching hypothesis). 27 In fact, it has been shown that while observed actions belonging to the behavioural repertoire of the observer are mapped on his/her motor system, 28 those that belong only to her/ his visual experience are only categorised based on visual characteristics, without inducing any motor resonance phenomenon in the observer's brain. 29 Therefore, given the differences in their motor repertoire, children with UCP might have a reduced activation of the MNS during observation of actions performed by healthy subjects. ...
Article
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Introduction Action Observation Treatment (AOT) is an innovative therapeutic approach consisting in the observation of actions followed by subsequent repetition. In children with unilateral cerebral palsy (UCP), it improves upper limb function in daily activities. The standard paradigm of AOT requires the observation of healthy models; however, it has been demonstrated that the mirror neuron system of children with UCP is more activated by observation of pathological models, showing a similar motor repertoire, than by the healthy model, suggesting that AOT based on pathological models is superior to the standard paradigm of AOT in the functional rehabilitation of the affected upper limb of children with UCP. Methods and analysis This protocol describes an active two-arm randomised controlled evaluator-blinded trial. Twenty-six children with UCP will participate in 3 weeks of intensive AOT: the experimental group will observe a pathological model, while the control group will observe a typically developed model. The primary outcome is the spontaneous use of the paretic hand, measured with the Assisting Hand Assessment. Secondary outcome measures are the Melbourne Assessment of Unilateral Upper Limb Function, the ABILHAND-Kids and the Activities Scale for Kids-performance. Assessments will be performed at baseline (T0), at the end of intensive AOT (T1), at 8–12 weeks (T2) and at 24–28 weeks (T3) after the end of intensive AOT. Ethics and dissemination The trial was approved by the Area Vasta Emilia Nord Ethics Committee (AVEN prot. n. 133117, 29 November 2018), and it was prospectively registered on ClinicalTrials.gov. The results will be submitted for publication to a peer-reviewed journal, discussed with parents of children participating in the trial and disseminated at suitable conferences. Trial registration number NCT04088994 ; Pre-results.
... Even though there are specific instances where observing segments of naturalistic video clips can consistently activate the motor cortex, such as when a participant observes tennis serves or intricate hand movements [30,47] . Importantly, most previous work studying observing motor actions used tightly controlled video clips rather than naturalistic video clips, making it difficult to discern the impact of observing a motor action as part of a complex and cluttered visual environment on the BOLD response in the motor cortex [42,48,49,50,51] . A possible explanation for support on both sides of the debate is that observing motor actions that are the focus of a video clip, might lead to sustained activation of the motor cortex, which leads to a BOLD response with a high signal-to-noise ratio. ...
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Similar to how differences in the proficiency of the cardiovascular and musculoskeletal system predict an individual's athletic ability, differences in how the same brain region encodes information across individuals may explain their behavior. However, when studying how the brain encodes information, researchers choose different neuroimaging tasks (e.g., language or motor tasks), which can rely on processing different types of information and can modulate different brain regions. We hypothesize that individual differences in how information is encoded in the brain are task-specific and predict different behavior measures. We propose a framework using encoding-models to identify individual differences in brain encoding and test if these differences can predict behavior. We evaluate our framework using task functional magnetic resonance imaging data. Our results indicate that individual differences revealed by encoding-models are a powerful tool for predicting behavior, and that researchers should optimize their choice of task and encoding-model for their behavior of interest.
... Recently, action observation training (AOT) using mirror neurons has been proposed as a useful intervention for recovering the functions of stroke patients with motor deficits [9]. AOT is a cognitive intervention to instill and improve various motor skills in patients with motor impairments, and it uses the characteristics of the mirror neurons that are excited when patients see others perform tasks or actual motor executions [10]. Moreover, AOT has been applied widely in limited spaces, making it a versatile intervention [9]. ...
... Numerous evidence from neurophysiological data have supported motor simulation as having a crucial role in the perception of others' actions (Blakemore and Decety, 2001). In Rizzolatti et al. (2001), mirror neurons in the premotor cortex of the macaque monkey were found to respond both when performing an action and when observing the same action performed by another monkey. Imaging data of the human brain have revealed that comparable mechanisms can be located in the inferior frontal cortex, notably in Broca's area (Iacoboni et al., 1999). ...
Thesis
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Many technological barriers must be tackled in order to provide tools in Sign Languages (SLs) in the same way as for spoken languages. For that aim, further insights must be gained into multiple disciplines, in particular motion science. More specifically, the present thesis aims to gain insights into the possibility of anonymizing the movements of a signer, in the same way as a speaker can remain anonymous by modifying specific aspects of the voice.First, this thesis sheds light on general kinematic properties of spontaneous SL in order to improve the models of natural SL. Using 3D motion recordings of multiple signers, we show that the kinematic bandwidth of spontaneous SL highly differs from that of signs made in isolation. Furthermore, a Principal Component Analysis reveals that the spontaneous SL discourses can be described by a reduced set of simple, one-directional, movements (i.e., synergies).Furthermore, combining human data and computational modelling, we demonstrate that signers can be identified from their movements, beyond morphology- and posture-related cues. Finally, we present machine learning models able to automatically extract identity information in SL movements and to manipulate it in generated motion. The models developed in this thesis could allow producing anonymized SL messages via virtual signers, which would open new horizons for deaf SL users.
... The STS region is involved in perceptual processing of dynamic aspects of faces (Haxby et al., 2000). The IFG matches the visual representation of another's action with one's own motor representations and allows an understanding of another's intentions (Gallese et al., 2004;Rizzolatti et al., 2001). The amygdala extracts the emotional meaning from biologically salient stimuli (Calder et al., 2003). ...
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Previous studies have demonstrated that individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are worse at recognizing facial expressions than are typically developing (TD) individuals. The present study investigated the differences in structural neural correlates of emotion recognition between individuals with and without ASD using voxel-based morphometry (VBM). We acquired structural MRI data from 27 high-functioning adults with ASD and 27 age- and sex-matched TD individuals. The ability to recognize facial expressions was measured using a label-matching paradigm featuring six basic emotions (anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, and surprise). The behavioural task did not find deficits of emotion recognition in ASD after controlling for intellectual ability. However, the VBM analysis for the region of interest showed a positive correlation between the averaged percent accuracy across six basic emotions and the grey matter volume of the right inferior frontal gyrus in TD individuals, but not in individuals with ASD. The VBM for the whole brain region under each emotion condition revealed a positive correlation between the percent accuracy for disgusted faces and the grey matter volume of the left dorsomedial prefrontal cortex in individuals with ASD, but not in TD individuals. The different pattern of correlations suggests that individuals with and without ASD use different processing mechanisms for recognizing others’ facial expressions.
... Action observation (AO) and motor imagery (MI) are used for the rehabilitation of patients with neurological disorders. AO can be defined as "the perception of other's actions" [1,2], whereas MI can be defined as "the mental simulation or rehearsal of a movement without any motor output" [3]. Both AO and MI are motor simulations that recruit neural systems related to observed and imagined movements, without action execution and muscle contraction. ...
Article
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Action observation (AO) and motor imagery (MI) are used for the rehabilitation of patients who face difficulty walking. Rehabilitation involving AO, MI, and AO combined with MI (AO+MI) facilitates gait recovery after neurological disorders. However, the mechanism by which it positively affects gait function is unclear. We previously examined the neural mechanisms underlying AO and MI of walking, focusing on AO+MI and corticospinal and spinal motor neuron excitability, which play important roles in gait function. Herein, we investigated the effects of a short intervention using AO+MI of walking on the corticospinal and spinal motor neuron excitability and MI ability of participants. Twelve healthy individuals participated in this study, which consisted of a 20 min intervention. Before the experiment, we measured MI ability using the Vividness of Movement Imagery Questionnaire-2 (VMIQ-2). We used motor evoked potential and F-wave measurements to evaluate the corticospinal and spinal motor neuron excitability at rest, pre-intervention, 0 min, and 15 min post-intervention. We also measured corticospinal excitability during MI of walking and the participant’s ability to perform MI using a visual analog scale (VAS). There were no significant changes in corticospinal and spinal motor neuron excitability during and after the intervention using AO+MI (p>0.05). The intervention temporarily increased VAS scores, thus indicating clearer MI (p<0.05); however, it did not influence corticospinal excitability during MI of walking (p>0.05). Furthermore, there was no significant correlation between the VMIQ-2 and VAS scores and changes in corticospinal and spinal motor neuron excitability. Therefore, one short intervention using AO+MI increased MI ability in healthy individuals; however, it was insufficient to induce plastic changes at the cortical and spinal levels. Moreover, the effects of intervention using AO+MI were not associated with MI ability. Our findings provide information about intervention using AO+MI in healthy individuals and might be helpful in planning neurorehabilitation strategies.
... In short, mirror neurons are neurons that show similar responses to action observation and action execution, especially for meaningful, goal-directed actions. These neuronal response patterns have been suggested to represent automatic direct mapping of the observed movement to the observers motor repertoire helping the observer to understand the action intention of other individuals [3]. As single neuron studies in humans are scarce, only few reported actual mirror neuron findings as of yet (for example: [4]). ...
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While the existence of a human mirror neuron system is evident, the involved brain areas and their exact functional roles remain under scientific debate. A number of functionally different mirror neuron types, neurons that selectively respond to specific grasp phases and types for example, have been reported with single cell recordings in monkeys. In humans, spatially limited, intracranially recorded electrophysiological signals in the high-gamma (HG) range have been used to investigate the human mirror system, as they are associated with spiking activity in single neurons. Our goal here is to complement previous intracranial HG studies by using magnetoencephalography to record HG activity simultaneously from the whole head. Participants performed a natural reach-to-grasp movement observation and delayed imitation task with different everyday objects and grasp types. This allowed us to characterize the spatial organization of cortical areas that show HG-activation modulation during movement observation (mirroring), retention (mnemonic mirroring), and execution (motor control). Our results show mirroring related HG modulation patterns over bilateral occipito-parietal as well as sensorimotor areas. In addition, we found mnemonic mirroring related HG modulation over contra-lateral fronto-temporal areas. These results provide a foundation for further human mirror system research as well as possible target areas for brain-computer interface and neurorehabilitation approaches.
... AO is based on the well-known mirror neuron system (MNS) which leads to recruitment of functionally interconnected cortical structures coupling action execution and observation (19)(20)(21). From a theoretical point of view, mirror mechanism alludes to the activation of motor-related areas not only when an action is performed, but also when the action is observed (19,20,22,23). On the basis of this mechanism, FIT-SAT exploits motor and premotor activations present during smile observation to facilitate the activation of the corresponding cortical motor representation. ...
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Rehabilitation after free gracilis muscle transfer (smile surgery, SS) is crucial for a functional recovery of the smiling skill, mitigating social and psychological problems resulting from facial paralysis. We compared two post-SS rehabilitation treatments: the traditional based on teeth clenching exercises and the FIT-SAT (facial imitation and synergistic activity treatment). FIT-SAT, based on observation/imitation therapy and on hand-mouth motor synergies would facilitate neuronal activity in the facial motor cortex avoiding unwanted contractions of the jaw, implementing muscle control. We measured the smile symmetry on 30 patients, half of whom after SS underwent traditional treatment (control group, CG meanage = 20 ± 9) while the other half FIT-SAT (experimental group, EG meanage= 21 ± 14). We compared pictures of participants while holding two postures: maximum and gentle smile. The former corresponds to the maximal muscle contraction, whereas the latter is strongly linked to the control of muscle strength during voluntary movements. No differences were observed between the two groups in the maximum smile, whereas in the gentle smile the EG obtained a better symmetry than the CG. These results support the efficacy of FIT-SAT in modulating the smile allowing patients to adapt their smile to the various social contexts, aspect which is crucial during reciprocal interactions.
... According to this view, the object knowledge (i.e., what an object is for and how it is used) would have a prominent role for action understanding [35]. To exemplify, the observed grasping actions performed by an expert model interacting with the climbing holds would act to a corresponding action in the climber's motor repertoire [36]. ...
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Abstract: Route previewing has been established as a critical parameter in indoor climbing performance, as it could determine the success or failure in ascending the route. We addressed the effect of different types of previews on output climbing performance. Twenty-one advanced climbers (7b and 7c+ climbing grade) were required to complete 18 routes, rated at 6c, according to the French Rating Scale of Difficulty. Each climber previewed the route under three conditions: “No-previewing”, “video-model previewing”, and “real-model previewing”. Output climbing performance was assessed in terms of route completion. The results showed differences on output climbing performance between types of preview. Specifically, the climbers achieved more successful attempts at climbing to the “Top” of the wall when inspecting the route with the “real-model previewing” condition, compared to the other conditions of preview. On the contrary, the climbers displayed more failed attempts in climbing the route with the “on-sight” condition, compared to the “flash” styles (“video-model” and “real-model”). The preview of the route, including performance of a real/video-projected model manipulating climbing holds, seems to increase the opportunities to climb the boulder successfully, attuning climbers to information specifying ascending actions. Climbing coaches should reinforce the design of representative training, using flash styles, to promote movement solutions for route completion.
... This attribution is supported by meta-analysis (Molenberghs et al., 2012). It is generally assumed that the mirror neuron system is responsible for understanding the goals and intentions of others' motor acts by matching them to one's own motor repertoire (Rizzolatti et al., 2001;Rizzolatti and Fabbri-Destro, 2008). ...
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An anonymous interaction might facilitate provoking behavior and modify the engagement of theory of mind (TOM) brain mechanisms. However, the effect of anonymity when processing unfair behavior of an opponent remains largely unknown. The current functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study applied the Taylor aggression paradigm, introducing an anonymous opponent to this task. Thirty-nine healthy right-handed subjects were included in the statistical analysis (13 males/26 females, mean age 24.5 ± 3.6 years). A player winning the reaction-time game could subtract money from the opponent during the task. Participants behaved similarly to both introduced and anonymous opponents. However, when an anonymous opponent (when compared to the introduced opponent) subtracted money, the right inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) demonstrated an increased BOLD signal and increased functional connectivity with the left IFG. Further, increased functional connectivity between the right IFG, the right temporal parietal junction and precuneus was observed during the perception of high provocation (subtracting a large amount of money) from the anonymous compared to the introduced opponent. We speculate that the neural changes may underlie different inferences about the opponents’ mental states. The idea that this reorganization of the TOM network reflects the attempt to understand the opponent by “completing” socially relevant details requires further investigation.
... [48] Rizzolatti et al. discovered a new class of premotor visuomotor neurons, called mirror neurons, that discharge both when the monkey executes goal-related actions like grasping objects and also when the monkey observes other individuals (monkeys or humans) execute similar actions. [49][50][51] Later on, so-called prefrontal mirror neurons with similar properties were discovered in a part of the posterior parietal cortex reciprocally connected with area F5. [52] Existence of a mirror neuron system at premotor and parietal areas in the human brain has been demonstrated in different studies. [53][54][55] The findings on the infant-mother relationship clearly suggest that the human nervous system is formed in such a way to enable us to capture others' living experiences just by watching them. ...
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Collectivity, referred as the drive to be and stay together with the other beings, serves as a basic tool for survival and reproduction. Thus, it should be considered a basic instinct. In the first part of this article, we are describing the basic mechanisms of collectivity: (1) the collectivity instinct, (2) social trust, (3) inter- and intragroup dynamics, and (4) the ability to recognise the facial expression of others. In the second part, we will give some clinical examples (such as autism and narcissistic and paranoid personality disorders) as the disorders of collectivity. The ideas presented here may be the basis for the modification of new psychotherapy techniques for the disorders of collectivity in future.
... While gaze duration to specific interest areas is important to consider, it may not necessarily reflect the use of social cues to guide the allocation of gaze to regions of a social scene that are most conducive to social understanding. This is particularly the case in the context of goal directed action, which has been described in the context of the direct matching hypothesis-where visual features of an observed action are mapped onto one's own motor system to facilitate action understanding (Rizzolatti et al., 2001). However, this has been found to be dependent on the use of predictive gaze-where gaze is allocated to the goal of an observed motor action prior to the completion of the observed motor action (Flanagan & Johansson, 2003). ...
Article
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized by significant social functioning impairments, including (but not limited to) emotion recognition, mentalizing, and joint attention. Despite extensive investigation into the correlates of social functioning in ASD, only recently has there been focus on the role of low‐level sensory input, particularly visual processing. Extensive gaze deficits have been described in ASD, from basic saccadic function through to social attention and the processing of complex biological motion. Given that social functioning often relies on accurately processing visual information, inefficient visual processing may contribute to the emergence and sustainment of social functioning difficulties in ASD. To explore the association between measures of gaze and social functioning in ASD, a systematic review and meta‐analysis was conducted. A total of 95 studies were identified from a search of CINAHL Plus, Embase, OVID Medline, and psycINFO databases in July 2021. Findings support associations between increased gaze to the face/head and eye regions with improved social functioning and reduced autism symptom severity. However, gaze allocation to the mouth appears dependent on social and emotional content of scenes and the cognitive profile of participants. This review supports the investigation of gaze variables as potential biomarkers of ASD, although future longitudinal studies are required to investigate the developmental progression of this relationship and to explore the influence of heterogeneity in ASD clinical characteristics. This review explored how eye gaze (e.g., where a person looks when watching a movie) is associated with social functioning in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). We found evidence that better social functioning in ASD was associated with increased eye gaze toward faces/head and eye regions. Individual characteristics (e.g., intelligence) and the complexity of the social scene also influenced eye gaze. Future research including large longitudinal studies and studies investigating the influence of differing presentations of ASD are recommended.
... The strength of this perception-action coupling is also highlighted by various neurophysiological studies (Fadiga et al., 1995;Watkins et al., 2003, Scerrati et al., 2015, which show that pre-activation of visual and auditory inputs can be facilitated by the prior perception of a linguistic stimulus. Moreover, this functional perception-action coupling, as underpinned by the mirror neuron system (Rizzolatti et al., 2001(Rizzolatti et al., , 2002, is established early in infancy and is the basis for the development of sensorimotor, cognitive, and social representations (Assaiante et al., 2014, see also Wilson and Knoblich, 2005). Sensorimotor representations play a key role in motor control, according to the theory of internal models (Miall and Wolpert, 1996;Wolpert et al., 1998), sensorimotor representations are needed to anticipate and act on one's environment. ...
Article
Sensorimotor disorders have been frequently reported in children and adults with dyslexia over the past 30 years. The present study aimed to determine the impact of sensorimotor comorbidity risks in dyslexia by investigating the functional links between phonological and sensorimotor representations in young dyslexic adults. Using 52 dyslexic participants and 58 normo-readers, we investigated whether the underlying phonological deficit, which is reported in the literature, was associated with a general impairment of sensorimotor representations of articulatory and bodily actions. Internal action representations were explored through motor imagery tasks, consisting of measuring and comparing the durations of performed or imagined actions chosen from their current repertoire of daily life activities. To detect sensorimotor deficits, all participants completed the extended version of the M-ABC 2, as a reference test. We found sensorimotor impairments in 27% of the young adult dyslexics, then considered as sensorimotor comorbid, as opposed to much less in the normo-reader group (5%). While motor slowdown, reflecting motor difficulty, was present in all dyslexic adults, motor imagery performance was impacted only in the specific dyslexic subgroup with sensorimotor impairments. Moreover, in contrast with slowness, only the comorbid subgroup showed an increased variability in execution durations. The present study highlights the importance of the quality of perception-action coupling, questions the relevance of investigating sensorimotor impairment profiles beyond phonological deficits and provides new arguments supporting the perspective of multiple deficits approaches in dyslexia.
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Gestural communication allows providing information about thoughts and feelings, characterizing face-to-face interactions, also during non-verbal exchanges. In the present study, the autonomic responses and peripheral synchronization mechanisms of two individuals (encoder and decoder) were recorded simultaneously, through the use of biofeedback in hyperscanning, during two different experimental phases consisting in the observation (watching videos of gestures) and reproduction of positive and negative different types of gestures (affective, social and informative) supported by linguistic contexts. Therefore, the main aim of this study was focused on the analysis of simultaneous individuals' peripheral mechanisms during the performing of complex joint action, consisting of the observation (watching videos) and the reproduction of positive and negative social, affective, and informative gestures each supported by a linguistic script. Single-subject and inter-subject correlation analyses were conducted to observe individuals' autonomic responses and physiological synchronization. Single-subject results revealed an increase in emotional arousal, indicated by an increase in electrodermal activity (skin conductance level - SCL and response - SCR), during both the observation (watching videos) and reproduction of negative social and affective gestures contextualized by a linguistic context. Moreover, an increase of emotional engagement, expressed by an increase in heart rate (HR) activity, emerged in the encoder compare to the decoder during gestures reproduction (simulation of gestures). Inter-subject correlation results showed the presence of mirroring mechanisms, indicated by an increase in SCL, SCR, and HR synchronization, during the linguistic contexts and gesture observation (watching videos). Furthermore, an increase in SCL and SCR synchronization emerged during the observation (watching videos) and reproduction of negative social and affective gestures. Therefore, the present study allowed to obtain information on the mirroring mechanisms and physiological synchronization underlying the linguistic and gesture system during non-verbal interaction.
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Speech is built on a set of correspondences between sensory and articulatory representations, especially during the acquisition of language in the early years of life. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, the primary goal of our work was to determine, in adults, a possible functional coupling of French vowel perception and production systems, as elementary speech units. In parallel, our work should help to clarify the brain structures related to the orofacial motor control of simple supralaryngeal movements and to determine a possible causal contribution of sensory and motor regions during speech perception. Our work highlights the involvement of sensory and motor areas when performing orofacial gestures and during vowel production and perception. Adaptive effects of these motor, auditory and somatosensory regions during repeated orofacial movements and in vowel perception and production suggest the existence of common adaptive mechanisms involved in the online control of perceived and produced speech gestures. Finally, we demonstrated a causal and functional role of the sensorimotor regions of the dorsal pathway in speech categorization. Taken together, our results emphasize the distributed sensorimotor nature of cerebral representations of speech units.
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The neural correlates of action language processing are still debated within embodied cognition research and little is known about the flexible involvement of modality-specific pre-motor system and multimodal high-level temporo-parietal regions as a function of explicit and implicit tasks. A systematic review and the Activation likelihood estimation (ALE) meta-analyses on functional neuroimaging studies were performed to identify neural correlates of action language processing activated during explicit and implicit tasks. The contrast ALE meta-analysis revealed activation of modality-specific premotor area and inferior frontal areas during explicit action language tasks while a greater activation of posterior temporo-occipital areas emerged for implicit tasks. The conjunction analysis revealed overlap in the temporo-parietal multimodal high-level regions for both types of tasks. Functional specialization of the middle temporal gyrus was found where the more posterior-occipital part resulted activated during implicit action language tasks whereas the antero-lateral part was involved in explicit tasks. Our findings were discussed within a conceptual flexibility perspective about the involvement of both the modality-specific and multimodal brain system during action language processing depending on different types of tasks.
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The aim of this paper is to focus on a problem that has not been sufficiently attended to by researchers in the embodied language paradigm. This problem concerns the inferential level of communication. In real-life conversations implicit and inferential meaning is often the most important part of dialogues. However, embodied language researches, up to now, have not sufficiently considered this aspect of human communication. Simulation of the propositional content is not sufficient in order to explain real-life linguistic activity. In addition, we need to explain how we get from propositional contents to inferential meanings. A usage-based model of language, focused on the idea that speaking is acting, will be presented. On this basis, the processes of language production and comprehension will be analyzed in the light of the recent findings on action comprehension.
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Even the simplest social interactions require us to gather, integrate, and act upon, multiple streams of information about others and our surroundings. In this Element, we discuss how perceptual processes provide us with an accurate account of action-relevant information in social contexts. We overview contemporary theories and research that explores how: (1) individuals perceive others' mental states and actions, (2) individuals perceive affordances for themselves, others, and the dyad, and (3) how social contexts guide our attention to modulate what we perceive. Finally, we review work on the cognitive mechanisms that make joint action possible and discuss their links to perception.
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Purpose: Since characteristics of specific language impairment (SLI) are not well known yet, and several hypotheses have been proposed in different investigations, periods and languages, it seems necessary to investigate it in different languages. There are some hypotheses about dependency of impairment to language characteristics and these hypotheses are other reason for necessity of examining the SLI in different languages. To investigate SLI, the first step is to identify and understand the various assumptions in the field. Therefore, the aim of the study was to explain different hypothesis about SLI. Methods: For this purpose, special articles related to SLI was gathered by using Science Direct, Elsevier and Google Scholar, data bases, between 1970-2014 and 58 article reviewed. Conclusion: Studding different hypotheses indicate that development in linguistic theories, result in changes in hypotheses and develop new hypothesis. Additionally, it has been shown that we can classify and study hypotheses with different view points, or choose and study one of them that is language-specific.
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Based on the existence of sensorimotor disorders frequently reported in children and adults with dyslexia (Nicolson & Fawcett, 1999; Ramus et al., 2003 a, Cignetti et al., 2018), this paper focuses on the link between the underlying phonological deficit and a sensorimotor syndrome, or more precisely, between phonemic representation impairment and impairment of internal representations of action. To address this question, we will contribute to the debate with the recent results of two studies in which we tested about fifty dyslexic students, matched with normo-readers, in two protocols of motor ideation and phonemic awareness. These first results, conducted on a large population, highlight the importance of the comorbidity of the sensorimotor syndrome through an alteration of the internal representations of action and phonemic awareness specific to a subgroup of dyslexic young adults with sensorimotor comorbidity. Thus, sensorimotor impairment does not seem to directly impact on young adults’ reading difficulties, but rather reflects different dyslexic profiles. These results therefore support the existence of a sensorimotor profile that persists in adult dyslexics and also provide further support for the presence of a multiple deficit associated with dyslexia.// FRENCH ABSTRACT : Sur la base de l’existence de troubles sensorimoteurs, fréquemment rapportés dans la littérature chez l’enfant et l’adulte dyslexique (Nicolson & Fawcett, 1999 ; Ramus et al., 2003a, Cignetti et al., 2018), cet article s’intéresse au lien entre déficit phonologique sous-jacent et syndrome sensorimoteur, ou plus précisément entre atteinte phonémique et atteinte des représentations internes de l’action. Pour tenter de répondre à cette question, nous alimenterons le débat par les résultats récents de deux études dans lesquelles nous avons testé une cinquantaine d’étudiants dyslexiques, appariés à des normo-lecteurs, engagés dans deux protocoles d’idéation motrice et de conscience phonémique. Ces premiers résultats effectués sur une large population mettent ainsi en avant l’importance de la comorbidité du syndrome sensorimoteur à travers une altération des représentations internes de l’action et de la conscience phonémique spécifique au sous-groupe de jeunes adultes dyslexiques comorbides. Ainsi, l’atteinte sensorimotrice ne semble pas directement impacter les troubles en lecture des jeunes adultes, mais plutôt refléter des profils dyslexiques différents. Ces résultats soutiennent donc l’existence d’un profil sensorimoteur qui persiste chez les dyslexiques adultes et s’avèrent aussi être un argument de plus en faveur de la présence d’un déficit multiple associé à la dyslexie.
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This chapter describes five working theories that can be useful to practicing community psychologists. They are the brain children of David McMillan in collaboration with others including J. R. Newbrough and Ray Lorion. The five theories are: 1. A four major-element, twenty-six sub-element theory of Psychological Sense of Community; 2. A four-part typology of communities building on Tönnies 1800’s two types of community, Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft – McMillan adds two additional types, Gefolgschaft and Notschaft; 3. Community moods: McMillan proposes that emotions are contagious. He offers nine basic emotions common to humankind and proposes that these emotions can function like a virus and can be treated similarly with emotion antidotes; 4. Communities have developmental stages: McMillan builds on Erikson’s (1968) eight stages of human development and adds two other stages, conception and termination; 5. The last practical theory McMillan offers is Newbrough’s (1995) Third Position Theory. This theory creates a negotiation, mediating problem-solving strategy that can undo dichotomous gridlock.
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The human brain can efficiently process action-related visual information, which supports our ability to quickly understand and learn others’ actions. The visual information of goal-directed action is extensively represented in the parietal and frontal cortex, but how actions and goal-objects are represented within this neural network is not fully understood. Specifically, which part of this dorsal network represents the identity of goal-objects? Is such goal-object information encoded at an abstract level or highly interactive with action representations? Here, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging with a large number of participants (n = 94) to investigate the neural representation of goal-objects and actions when participants viewed goal-directed action videos. Our results showed that the goal-directed action information could be decoded across much of the dorsal pathway, but in contrast, the invariant goal-object information independent of action was mainly localized in the early stage of dorsal pathway in parietal cortex rather than the down-stream areas of the parieto-frontal cortex. These results help us to understand the relationship between action and goal-object representations in the dorsal pathway, and the evolution of interactive representation of goal-objects and actions along the dorsal pathway during goal-directed action observation.
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This chapter deals with the mechanisms modulating pain during TI and other immobility responses in different animal species. In mammals the presence of high voltage slow waves in the electroencephalogram during TI suggests the activation of the thalamic gate, a mechanism blocking all sensory information, including pain. In rabbits TI transiently suppresses all the behavioral responses to persistent nociceptive stimulation by the activation of an opioid mechanism outlasting TI offset by 1 h. On the other hand, in rodents, also not injuring nociceptive stimuli applied during TI elicit a delayed opioid analgesia that develops within 45 min. Moreover, both opioid and non-opioid mechanisms of analgesia have been observed. TI strongly reduces inflammatory responses by activating the vagal-neocortical-sympathetic axis, a feedback control of neuro-immune mechanisms. Several models of noxious and non-noxious restraint and of post-restraint immobility resembling TI have been proposed. Moreover in lizards, hyperalgesia occurs during and after TI.
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This study measured mu rhythm desynchronization (MRD), while nine-month-old infants observed an agent extend her arm and hand, palm up ('back-of-hand action') either in social (object and recipient present), individual (object present, recipient absent), or social object-absent (recipient present, object absent) situations across two experiments. In addition, infants' MRD was measured as they reached for objects. Results revealed significant mu desynchronization in the right centro-parietal region selectively for the social group, indicating that infants processed the back-of-hand action as an object-directed request. Findings suggest to extend the action reconstruction account to object-directed communicative actions as well.
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The activity of the neocortex presents the formation of extended configurations of oscillatory motions modulated in amplitude and phase and involving myriads of neurons. As observed by Lashley, nerve impulses are transmitted from cell to cell through defined cell connections. However, all behavior seems to be determined by masses of excitations, within general fields of activity, without reference to particular nerve cells. Freeman has stressed the role played by chaos underlying the ability of the brain to respond flexibly to the outside world. These observations support the remark, attributed to Aristotle, that the brain is not a stupid star, which in its perennial trajectory passes always through the same point in a fully predictable way. On the contrary, brains appear to proceed by steps that do not necessarily belong to a strictly predictive chain of steps, but behave like a ‘machine making mistakes’, intrinsic erratic devices. These features of neural dynamics are discussed within the framework of the dissipative quantum model of the brain and with reference to AI systems and research programs. If it is ever possible to build a device endowed with consciousness, it must possess unpredictability of behavior, infidelity, and inalienable freedom; and must be called Spartacus.
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Résumé Contexte Si les crises de croissance scientifique traversent tous les champs de la connaissance, le domaine de la périnatalité semble particulièrement exposé du fait de la problématique centrale de l’avènement d’un nouveau sujet, de la transmission de la vie entre les générations. La position heuristique du bébé en fait un révélateur de l’air du temps. Alors qu’à l’issue d’une période féconde, ouverte à la pluridisciplinarité, nous disposons – comme jamais auparavant – d’arguments interdisciplinaires pour la compréhension de l’édification du sujet bébé, nous pouvons craindre un appauvrissement, voire l’extinction de la diversité, et des replis sur des positions « biologisantes » ou « éducatives », laissant peu de place au débat. Objectifs La complexité nécessite pourtant une réflexion méta-épistémologique transversale sur les différentes méthodes, leurs implicites – leurs zones aveugles dont nous listons ici quelques items. Quid des dérèglements liés à l’emballement récent de pseudo-organisations, de pseudo-expertises, forgées à grand renfort de moyens financiers mais faisant, en quelque sorte, table rase des progrès collectifs d’amélioration des pratiques ? Quid des découpages arbitraires du périnatum, qui ne s’appuient ni sur la physiologie fine de ce moment, unique en termes de changements d’état tant pour la mère que pour le bébé, ni sur la contenance groupale que le socius ne manque jamais de fournir en termes de scansions collectives coutumières ? Dans ces propositions non régulées, quelle est la part de destructivité elle aussi dérégulée, éléments rendus criants par la crise environnementale majeure que nous traversons ? Méthode Au sein des manifestations scientifiques la tendance est à l’appauvrissement de la diversité des approches qui avait pourtant forgé la discipline. Observant une mise à l’écart irrationnelle de la psychanalyse dans le champ de la périnatalité, l’auteure apporte l’hypothèse originale d’une détestation de la psychanalyse – conjoncturelle plutôt que structurelle, telle est la question – autour d’une motion de « haine de la position Méta » et de son avers « la fascination de la position Méta ». Résultats L’attaque (envieuse) proviendrait d’une fausse croyance dans une position de surplomb, sorte de suprématie réputée détenue, à tort, par le seul corpus psychanalytique. La notion de narcissisme des petites différences est utilisée comme un analyseur possible pour venir éclairer l’irrationnel à l’œuvre. L’auteure argumente ensuite que le « niveau logique Méta » s’avère pourtant indispensable à la survie de chaque système de pensée complexe. Un examen de l’évolution excessivement rapide des tentatives de modélisations par la science physique de notre représentation de la vie mentale, depuis la thermodynamique, la cybernétique et récemment depuis les notions de physique quantique, est proposé comme « panoramique » pour pointer des sauts qualitatifs récents, d’une envergure inédite. Conclusion L’enjeu de la métabolisation sociétale de ces fractures est de taille et les efforts de la philosophie des sciences en quête de paradigmes pour un dialogue interdisciplinaire, louables. L’urgence à renouveler nos points de vue, à opérer des déménagements conceptuels est fortement invoquée. Une échappée belle, apte à fournir ce changement d’ontologie, sera suggérée du côté de l’anthropologie comparative.
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Motivated by a set of converging empirical findings and theoretical suggestions pertaining to the construct of ownership, we survey literature from multiple disciplines and present an extensive theoretical account linking the inception of a foundational naïve theory of ownership to principles governing the sense of (body) ownership. The first part of the account examines the emergence of the non-conceptual sense of ownership in terms of the minimal self and the body schema—a dynamic mental model of the body that functions as an instrument of directed action. A remarkable feature of the body schema is that it expands to incorporate objects that are objectively controlled by the person. Moreover, this embodiment of extracorporeal objects is accompanied by the phenomenological feeling of ownership towards the embodied objects. In fact, we argue that the sense of agency and ownership are inextricably linked, and that predictable control over an object can engender the sense of ownership. This relation between objective agency and the sense of ownership is moderated by gestalt-like principles. In the second part, we posit that these early emerging principles and experiences lead to the formation of a naïve theory of ownership rooted in notions of agential involvement.
Article
Purpose: To identify the specific motor learning (ML) theories underpinning evidence-based, task-focused upper limb models of therapy for children with unilateral cerebral palsy; and to document the strategies used in the operationalisation of these theories. Material and method: This scoping review searched for relevant studies using eight electronic databases. A list of 68 ML strategies and accompanying definitions was developed for data extraction. Three classifications; adequate, inadequate or not described were used to rate the description of ML strategies. A corresponding colour-coding system was used to provide a visual summary. Results: There is a limited description of the ML theories and strategies used to operationalise these theories in existing models of evidence-based upper limb therapy. Of 103 therapy protocols included, only 24 explicitly described the guiding ML theory. When described, there was significant variation in the underlying theories, leading to significantly different focus and content of therapy. Of the 68 ML strategies, only three were adequately described. Conclusions: To support treatment fidelity and the implementation of evidence-based, task-focused models of upper limb therapy in clinical practice, future research needs to provide explicit details about the underlying theories and strategies used in the operationalisation of these theories.Implications for rehabilitationEvidence-based models of upper limb therapy purport to be based on motor learning theory, however, most provide a very limited description of the theories and strategies used.Dosage of practice is only one element that is specific to a therapy approach and other elements guided by the principles of type of task and type of feedback should be considered.To support the implementation of evidence-based approaches in clinical practice, and improve treatment fidelity, it is important for researchers to define the theories that guide therapy approaches and explicitly describe the strategies used to operationalise these theories.
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A imitação é um potente instrumento de aprendizagem. Recentemente, foram descobertos neurónios que são activados quando observamos a execução de uma tarefa motora e quando a realizamos. Este suporte neuronal vem reforçar a importância da imitação na aquisição de habilidades motoras. Fomos verificar se jovens de 14-15 anos de idade revelavam melhor prestação numa tarefa de equilíbrio estático quando podiam observar a execução, em oposição a uma situação em que só recebiam instrução verbal. Os jovens equilibraram-se sobre uma bola suíça em 3 condições: (i) após instrução; (ii) após observação da execução por outro, e (iii) e em simultâneo com a observação da execução por outro. Os participantes obtiveram significativamente maior tempo em equilíbrio na condição após observação que nas restantes duas; e, individualmente a maior frequência de melhor tempo foi nesta condição e a frequência de pior tempo na condição em que não tiveram acesso a observação. Os resultados suportam parcialmente a hipótese do envolvimento de neurónios espelho.
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Motor imagery (MI) and action observation (AO) have been found to enhance motor performance, but recent research found that a combination of action observation and motor imagery (AOMI) together is even better. Despite this initial finding, the most effective way to combine them is unknown. The present study examined the effects of synchronized (i e., concurrently doing AO and MI), asynchronised (i.e., first doing AO then MI), and progressive (first asynchronised approach, then doing synchronized approach) AOMI on golf putting performance and learning. We recruited 45 university students (M age = 20.18 + 1.32 years; males = 23, females = 22) and randomly assigned them into the following four groups: synchronized group (S-AOMI), asynchronised group (A-AOMI), progressive group (A-S-AOMI), and a control group with a pre-post research design. Participants engaged in a 6-week (three times/per-week) intervention, plus two retention tests. A two-way (group × time) mixed ANOVA statistical analysis found that the three experimental groups performed better than the control group after intervention. However, we found progressive and asynchronised had better golf putting scores than synchronized group and the control group on the retention tests. Our results advance knowledge in AOMI research, but it needs more research to reveal the best way of combining AOMI in the future. Theoretical implications, limitations, applications, and future suggestions are also discussed. Subjects Kinesiology, Psychiatry and Psychology
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Empathy allows us to understand and react to other people feelings. Regarding empathy for pain, a witness looking at a painful situation may react to other-oriented and prosocial-altruistic behaviors or self-oriented withdrawal responses. The main aim of this thesis was to study approach/avoidance and freezing behavioral manifestations that co-occurring along with both others’ pain observation and during the anticipation of pain. In two perspective-taking tasks, we investigated the influence of the type of relationship between the witness and the target in pain. Results showed that higher pain ratings, lower reactions times (experiment 1) and greater withdrawal avoidance postural responses (experiment 2) were attributed when participants adopted their most loved person perspective. In experiment 3, we analyzed the freezing behavior in the observer’s corticospinal system while subject was observing painful stimuli in first-and third-person perspectives. Results showed the pain-specific freezing effect only pertained to the first-person perspective condition. An empathy for pain interpretation suggests empathy might represent the anticipation of painful stimulation in oneself. In experiment 4 results, we found that the freezing effect present during a painful electrical stimulation was also present in the anticipation of pain. In conclusion, our studies suggest that cognitive perspective-taking mechanisms mainly modulate the empathic response and the most loved person perspective seems to be prevalent. In addition, more basic pain-specific corticospinal modulations are mainly present in the first-person perspective and it seems to not be referred to the empathy components
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This study aims to clarify unresolved questions from two earlier studies by McGarry et al. Exp Brain Res 218(4): 527–538, 2012 and Kaplan and Iacoboni Cogn Process 8: 103–113, 2007 on human mirror neuron system (hMNS) responsivity to multimodal presentations of actions. These questions are: (1) whether the two frontal areas originally identified by Kaplan and Iacoboni (ventral premotor cortex [vPMC] and inferior frontal gyrus [IFG]) are both part of the hMNS (i.e., do they respond to execution as well as observation), (2) whether both areas yield effects of biologicalness (biological, control) and modality (audio, visual, audiovisual), and (3) whether the vPMC is preferentially responsive to multimodal input. To resolve these questions about the hMNS, we replicated and extended McGarry et al.’s electroencephalography (EEG) study, while incorporating advanced source localization methods. Participants were asked to execute movements (ripping paper) as well as observe those movements across the same three modalities (audio, visual, and audiovisual), all while 64-channel EEG data was recorded. Two frontal sources consistent with those identified in prior studies showed mu event-related desynchronization (mu-ERD) under execution and observation conditions. These sources also showed a greater response to biological movement than to control stimuli as well as a distinct visual advantage, with greater responsivity to visual and audiovisual compared to audio conditions. Exploratory analyses of mu-ERD in the vPMC under visual and audiovisual observation conditions suggests that the hMNS tracks the magnitude of visual movement over time.
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Positron emission tomography imaging of cerebral blood flow was used to localize brain areas involved in the representation of hand grasping movements. Seven normal subjects were scanned under three conditions. In the first, they observed precision grasping of common objects performed by the examiner. In the second, they imagined themselves grasping the objects without actually moving the hand. These two tasks were compared with a control task of object viewing. Grasp observation activated the left rostral superior temporal sulcus, left inferior frontal cortex (area 45), left rostral inferior parietal cortex (area 40), the rostral part of left supplementary motor area (SMA-proper), and the right dorsal premotor cortex. Imagined grasping activated the left inferior frontal (area 44) and middle frontal cortex, left caudal inferior parietal cortex (area 40), a more extensive response in left rostral SMA-proper, and left dorsal premotor cortex. The two conditions activated different areas of the right posterior cerebellar cortex. We propose that the areas active during grasping observation may form a circuit for recognition of hand-object interactions, whereas the areas active during imagined grasping may be a putative human homologue of a circuit for hand grasping movements recently defined in nonhuman primates. The location of responses in SMA-proper confirms the rostrocaudal segregation of this area for imagined and real movement. A similar segregation is also present in the cerebellum, with imagined and observed grasping movements activating different parts of the posterior lobe and real movements activating the anterior lobe.
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Infants between 12 and 21 days of age can imitate both facial and manual gestures; this behavior cannot be explained in terms of either conditioning or innate releasing mechanisms. Such imitation implies that human neonates can equate their own unseen behaviors with gestures they see others perform.
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We recorded electrical activity from 532 neurons in the rostral part of inferior area 6 (area F5) of two macaque monkeys. Previous data had shown that neurons of this area discharge during goal-directed hand and mouth movements. We describe here the properties of a newly discovered set of F5 neurons ("mirror neurons', n = 92) all of which became active both when the monkey performed a given action and when it observed a similar action performed by the experimenter. Mirror neurons, in order to be visually triggered, required an interaction between the agent of the action and the object of it. The sight of the agent alone or of the object alone (three-dimensional objects, food) were ineffective. Hand and the mouth were by far the most effective agents. The actions most represented among those activating mirror neurons were grasping, manipulating and placing. In most mirror neurons (92%) there was a clear relation between the visual action they responded to and the motor response they coded. In approximately 30% of mirror neurons the congruence was very strict and the effective observed and executed actions corresponded both in terms of general action (e.g. grasping) and in terms of the way in which that action was executed (e.g. precision grip). We conclude by proposing that mirror neurons form a system for matching observation and execution of motor actions. We discuss the possible role of this system in action recognition and, given the proposed homology between F5 and human Brocca's region, we posit that a matching system, similar to that of mirror neurons exists in humans and could be involved in recognition of actions as well as phonetic gestures.
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resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to localize brain areas that were active during the observation of actions made by another individual. Object- and non-object-relat ed actions made with different effectors (mouth, hand and foot) were presented. Observation of both object- and non-object-relat ed actions determined a somatotopically organized activation of premotor cortex. The somatotopic pattern was similar to that of the classical motor cortex homunculus. During the observation of object-related actions, an activation, also somatotopically organized,
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Research and clinical studies in recent years have shown an enormous increase in interest into disorders of higher cortical functions and brain-behavior relationships. The Handbook of Neuropsychology meets this growing interest by providing for the first time, a comprehensive and current examination of both experimental and clinical aspects of neuropsycholo gy. Subjects covered include Attention, Language, Aphasia and Related Disorders, Visual Behavior, Memory, The Commissurotomized Brain, Aging and Dementia and Child Neuropsychology.
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In area F5 of the monkey premotor cortex there are neurons that discharge both when the monkey performs an action and when he observes a similar action made by another monkey or by the experimenter. We report here some of the properties of these 'mirror' neurons and we propose that their activity 'represents' the observed action. We posit, then, that this motor representation is at the basis of the understanding of motor events. Finally, on the basis of some recent data showing that, in man, the observation of motor actions activate the posterior part of inferior frontal gyrus, we suggest that the development of the lateral verbal communication system in man derives from a more ancient communication system based on recognition of hand and face gestures.
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My initial scope will be limited: starting from a neurobiological standpoint, I will analyse how actions are possibly represented and understood. The main aim of my arguments will be to show that, far from being exclusively dependent upon mentalistic/linguistic abilities, the capacity for understanding others as intentional agents is deeply grounded in the relational nature of action. Action is relational, and the relation holds both between the agent and the object target of the action (see Gallese, 2000b), as between the agent of the action and his/her observer (see below). Agency constitutes a key issue for the understanding of intersubjectivity and for explaining how individuals can interpret their social world. This account of intersubjectivity, founded on the empirical findings of neuroscientific investigation, will be discussed and put in relation with a classical tenet of phenomenology: empathy. I will provide an 'enlarged' account of empathy that will be defined by means of a new conceptual tool: the shared manifold of intersubjectivity.
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The importance of the face is best understood, it is suggested, from the effects of visible facial difference in people. Their experience reflects the ways in which the face may be necessary for the interpersonal relatedness underlying such 'sharing' mind states as empathy. It is proposed that the face evolved as a result of several evolutionary pressures but that it is well placed to assume the role of an embodied representation of the increasingly refined inner states of mind that developed as primates became more social, and required more complex social intelligence. The consequences of various forms of facial disfigurement on interpersonal relatedness and intersubjectivity are then discussed. These narratives reveal the importance of the face in the development of the self-esteem that seems a prerequisite of being able to initiate, and enter, relationships between people. Such experiences are beyond normal experience and, as such, require an extended understanding of the other: to understand facial difference requires empathy. But, in addition, it is also suggested that empathy itself is supported by, and requires, the embodied expression and communication of emotion that the face provides.
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Review of the literature under the headings: discrimination experiments (discrimination learning, responses to relations, abstraction and generalization); conditioned response studies; secondary problem solutions: trial and error learning (problem-box learning, serial or maze learning); secondary problem solutions: imitational learning; primary problem solutions: insightful or intelligent behavior; ideational (symbolic) behavior (multiple choice, double alternation); number or counting experiments; mnemonic capacities: delayed response; bibliography of 161 titles. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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The three sections of this book are devoted to (1) a discussion of the general concepts of drive, directiveness and purpose and instinct, (2) six chapters on general features of the learning process, including habituation, associative learning, latent learning and insight, together with a discussion of physiological mechanisms in learning, and (3) eight chapters devoted to a systematic review of the learning abilities of the main animal groups. In the latter section the European literature of recent years is extensively reviewed. Bibliography and three indices: scientific names of animals, authors cited, and general topical index. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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A theory of imitation is proposed, string parsing, which separates the copying of behavioural organization by observation from an understanding of the cause of its effectiveness. In string parsing, recurring patterns in the visible stream of behaviour are detected and used to build a statistical sketch of the underlying hierarchical structure. This statistical sketch may in turn aid the subsequent comprehension of cause and effect. Three cases of social learning of relatively complex skills are examined, as potential cases of imitation by string parsing. Understanding the basic requirements for successful string parsing helps to resolve the conflict between mainly negative reports of imitation in experiments and more positive evidence from natural conditions. Since string parsing does not depend on comprehension of the intentions of other agents or the everyday physics of objects, separate tests of these abilities are needed even in animals shown to learn by imitation.
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How does imitation occur? How can the motor plans necessary for imitating an action derive from the observation of that action? Imitation may be based on a mechanism directly matching the observed action onto an internal motor representation of that action (“direct matching hypothesis”). To test this hypothesis, normal human participants were asked to observe and imitate a finger movement and to perform the same movement after spatial or symbolic cues. Brain activity was measured with functional magnetic resonance imaging. If the direct matching hypothesis is correct, there should be areas that become active during finger movement, regardless of how it is evoked, and their activation should increase when the same movement is elicited by the observation of an identical movement made by another individual. Two areas with these properties were found in the left inferior frontal cortex (opercular region) and the rostral-most region of the right superior parietal lobule.
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A number of internal model concepts are now widespread in neuroscience and cognitive science. These concepts are supported by behavioral, neurophysiological, and imaging data; furthermore, these models have had their structures and functions revealed by such data. In particular, a specific theory on inverse dynamics model learning is directly supported by unit recordings from cerebellar Purkinje cells. Multiple paired forward inverse models describing how diverse objects and environments can be controlled and learned separately have recently been proposed. The 'minimum variance model' is another major recent advance in the computational theory of motor control. This model integrates two furiously disputed approaches on trajectory planning, strongly suggesting that both kinematic and dynamic internal models are utilized in movement planning and control.
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Reviews 4 interpretations of the manner in which sensory feedback may be involved in regulation of skilled performance. For the serial chaining (SC) and closed-loop (CL) mechanisms, response selection is assumed to occur on the basis of peripheral feedback from preceding correct and incorrect responses, respectively; for the ideo-motor (IM) and fractional anticipatory goal response (rG-sG) mechanisms, it is assumed that a response's performance is directed by anticipatory representation of its own feedback or of feedback from the reaction to a goal to which the response leads, respectively. It is concluded that: (a) evidence for rG-sG as a mechanism for specific response selection, as opposed to generalized facilitation or inhibition of instrumental performance, is lacking; (b) the notion of a mechanism for comparison of actual feedback with images of desired feedback is not essential for explaining error-correction performance which is characteristic of CL; (c) limited available evidence is supportive of a contemporary version of IM; and (d) IM, SC, and CL can be regarded as serving complementary performance control functions. (3 p. ref.)
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A new class of visuomotor neuron has been recently discovered in the monkey's premotor cortex: mirror neurons. These neurons respond both when a particular action is performed by the recorded monkey and when the same action, performed by another individual, is observed. Mirror neurons appear to form a cortical system matching observation and execution of goal-related motor actions. Experimental evidence suggests that a similar matching system also exists in humans. What might be the functional role of this matching system? One possible function is to enable an organism to detect certain mental states of observed conspecifics. This function might be part of, or a precursor to, a more general mind-reading ability. Two different accounts of mind-reading have been suggested. According to `theory theory', mental states are represented as inferred posits of a naive theory. According to `simulation theory', other people's mental states are represented by adopting their perspective: by tracking or matching their states with resonant states of one's own. The activity of mirror neurons, and the fact that observers undergo motor facilitation in the same muscular groups as those utilized by target agents, are findings that accord well with simulation theory but would not be predicted by theory theory.
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This review will focus on four areas of motor control which have recently been enriched both by neural network and control system models: motor planning, motor prediction, state estimation and motor learning. We will review the computational foundations of each of these concepts and present specific models which have been tested by psychophysical experiments. We will cover the topics of optimal control for motor planning, forward models for motor prediction, observer models of state estimation arid modular decomposition in motor learning. The aim of this review is to demonstrate how computational approaches, as well as proposing specific models, provide a theoretical framework to formalize the issues in motor control.
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Part I. Introduction and Overview: 1. An interdisciplinary introduction to the imitative mind and brain Wolfgang Prinz and Andrew N. Meltzoff Part II. Developmental and Evolutionary Approaches to Imitation: 2. Building blocks for a developmental theory of imitation Andrew N. Meltzoff 3. Imitation and imitation recognition: functional use in preverbal infants and nonverbal children with autism Jacqueline Nadel 4. Self-awareness, other-awareness, and secondary representation Jens B. Asendorpf 5. Notes on individual differences and the assumed elusiveness of neonatal imitation Mikael Heimann 6. Ego function of early imitation Philippe Rochat 7. The imitator's representation of the imitated: ape and child A. Whiten 8. Seeing actions as hierarchically organised structures: great ape manual skills Richard W. Byrne Part III. Cognitive Approaches to Imitation, Body Scheme, and Perception-action Coding: 9. Experimental approaches to imitation Wolfgang Prinz 10. Imitation: common mechanisms in the observation and execution of finger and mouth movements Harold Bekkering 11. Goal-directed imitation Merideth Gattis, Harold Bekkering and Andreas Wolschlager 12. Visuomotor couplings in object-orientated and imitative actions Stefan Vogt 13. On bodies and events Barbara Tversky, Julie Bauer Morrison and Jeff Zacks 14. What is the body schema? Catherine L. Reed Part IV. Neuroscience Underpinnings of Imitation and Apraxia: 15. From mirror neurons to imitation: facts and speculations Giacomo Rizzolatti, Luciano Fadiga, Leonardo Fogassi and Vittorio Gallese 16. Cell populations in the banks of the superior temporal sulcus of the macaque and imitation T. Jellema, C. I. Baker, M. W. Oram and D. I. Perrett 17. Is there such a thing as a functional equivalence between imagined, observed, and executed action? Jean Decety 18. The role of imitation in body ownership and mental growth Marcel Kinsbourne 19. Imitation, apraxia, and hemisphere dominance Georg Goldenberg and Joachim Hermsdorfer.
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A new framework for the understanding of functional relationships between perception and action is discussed. According to this framework, perceived events and planned actions share a common representational domain (common-coding approach). Supporting evidence from two classes of experimental paradigms is presented: induction paradigms and interference paradigms. Induction paradigms study how certain stimuli induce certain actions by virtue of similarity. Evidence from two types of induction tasks is reviewed: sensorimotor synchronisation and spatial compatibility tasks. Interference paradigms study the mutual interference between the perception of ongoing events and the preparation and control of ongoing action. Again, evidence from two types of such tasks is reviewed, implying interference in either direction. It is concluded that the evidence available supports the common coding principle. A further general principle emerging from these studies is the action effect principle that is, the principle that cognitive representations of action effects play a critical role in the planning and control of these actions.
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Infants between 12 and 21 days of age can imitate both facial and manual gestures; this behavior cannot be explained in terms of either conditioning or innate releasing mechanisms. Such imitation implies that human neonates can equate their own unseen behaviors with gestures they see others perform.
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The presence of neurons in macaque temporal cortex and amygdala which fire selectively in response to social stimuli has been demonstrated by several investigators. The extent to which such neuronal populations may respond to a broad range of social features, including expressive movements and interactions, has not been fully explored due to the difficulty of presenting such complex stimuli in a controlled fashion. We describe a method for presenting moving segments of macaque behavior, visual and auditory, to animal subjects during single unit recording. The method permits a broad range of stimuli to be used both as probes and as controls. In addition, a novel technique for monitoring eye position in alert macaque subjects is described. We present results from the medial amygdala and adjacent cortex, demonstrating that neurons in these regions respond selectively to features of the social environment.
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We have examined the circuitry connecting the posterior parietal cortex with the frontal lobe of rhesus monkeys. HRP-WGA and tritiated amino acids were injected into subdivisions 7m, 7a, 7b, and 7ip of the posterior parietal cortex, and anterograde and retrograde label was recorded within the frontal motor and association cortices. Our main finding is that each subdivision of parietal cortex is connected with a unique set of frontal areas. Thus, area 7m, on the medial parietal surface, is interconnected with the dorsal premotor cortex and the supplementary motor area, including the supplementary eye field. Within the prefrontal cortex, area 7m's connections are with the rostral sector of the frontal eye field (FEF), the dorsal bank of the principal sulcus, and the anterior bank of the inferior arcuate sulcus (Walker's area 45). In contrast, area 7a, on the posterior parietal convexity, is not linked with premotor regions but is heavily interconnected with the rostral FEF in the anterior bank of the superior arcuate sulcus, the dorsolateral prefrontal convexity, the rostral orbitofrontal cortex, area 45, and the fundus and adjacent cortex of the dorsal and ventral banks of the principal sulcus. Area 7b, in the anterior part of the posterior parietal lobule, is interconnected with still a different set of frontal areas, which include the ventral premotor cortex and supplementary motor area, area 45, and the external part of the ventral bank of the principal sulcus. The prominent connections of area 7ip, in the posterior bank of the intraparietal sulcus, are with the supplementary eye field and restricted portions of the ventral premotor cortex, with a wide area of the FEF that includes both its rostral and caudal sectors, and with area 45. All frontoparietal connections are reciprocal, and although they are most prominent within a hemisphere, notable interhemispheric connections are also present.
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The rostral part of the agranular frontal cortex (area 6) can be subdivided on the basis of its cytoarchitecture, enzymatic properties, and connections into two large sectors: a superior region, lying medial to the spur of the arcuate sulcus, and an inferior region, lying lateral to it. In this study we traced the afferent and efferent connections of the inferior region of area 6 by injecting small amounts of wheat germ agglutinin conjugated to horseradish peroxidase (WGA-HRP) and fluorescent tracers (fast blue and diamidino yellow) into restricted parts of inferior area 6 and in physiologically determined fields of area 4.
Article
The functional properties of neurons located in the rostral part of inferior area 6 were studied in awake, partially restrained macaque monkeys. The most interesting property of these neurons was that their firing correlated with specific goal-related motor acts rather than with single movements made by the animal. Using the motor acts as the classification criterion we subdivided the neurons into six classes, four related to distal motor acts and two related to proximal motor acts. The distal classes are: "Grasping-with-the-hand-and-the-mouth neurons", "Grasping-with-the-hand neurons", "Holding neurons" and "Tearing neurons". The proximal classes are: "Reaching neurons" and "Bringing-to-the-mouth-or-to-the-body neurons". The vast majority of the cells belonged to the distal classes. A particularly interesting aspect of distal class neurons was that the discharge of many of them depended on the way in which the hand was shaped during the motor act. Three main groups of neurons were distinguished: "Precision grip neurons", "Finger prehension neurons", "Whole hand prehension neurons". Almost the totality of neurons fired during motor acts performed with either hand. About 50% of the recorded neurons responded to somatosensory stimuli and about 20% to visual stimuli. Visual neurons were more difficult to trigger than the corresponding neurons located in the caudal part of inferior area 6 (area F4). They required motivationally meaningful stimuli and for some of them the size of the stimulus was also critical. In the case of distal neurons there was a relationship between the type of prehension coded by the cells and the size of the stimulus effective in triggering the neurons. It is proposed that the different classes of neurons form a vocabulary of motor acts and that this vocabulary can be assessed by somatosensory and visual stimuli.
Article
Two series of experiments are reported in this paper. The first concerns the movement representation in the macaque inferior area 6, the second the functional properties of neurons located in the caudal part of this area (histochemical area F4). By combining single neuron recording and intracortical microstimulation, we found that inferior area 6 is somatotopically organized. The axio-proximal movements are represented caudally, the distal movements are represented near the arcuate sulcus. The mouth field is located laterally, the hand field medially. There is no leg field. A comparison between neuron properties and histochemical characteristics of inferior area 6 showed that the proximal movements representation includes most of area F4, whereas the distal movements representation corresponds to area F5 and to the rostral part of F4. Neurons located in that part of F4 where proximal movements are represented respond very well to tactile stimuli. They have large receptive fields mostly located on the face and on the upper part of the body. A large number of these neurons respond to visual stimuli. Objects approaching the animal are particularly effective. The tactile and the visual receptive fields are in register. The most