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Whole-brain fMRI using repetition suppression between action and perception reveals cortical areas with mirror neuron properties

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http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons84188

Schillinger,  F
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons83877

de la Rosa,  S
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons84201

Schultz,  J
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Schillinger, F., de la Rosa, S., Schultz, J., & Uludag, K. (2010). Whole-brain fMRI using repetition suppression between action and perception reveals cortical areas with mirror neuron properties. Poster presented at 33rd European Conference on Visual Perception, Lausanne, Switzerland.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-BEF6-C
Abstract
Mirror Neurons (MN) have been suggested to be the supporting neural mechanism for action recognition and understanding. However, there is a current debate about the localization of MN in humans. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies using repetition suppression (RS) paradigms for the identification of MN provide mixed results. Studies supporting the existence of MN restricted their analysis to a-priori candidate regions, whereas studies that failed to find evidence used non-object-directed actions. In the present fMRI study, we tackled these limitations by using object-directed actions in a RS paradigm and performing a wholebrain analysis. Subjects observed and executed simple grasping movements differing only in their goal-directness (grasping a button vs. grasping beside it). MN areas should be (1) more activated by goal-directed actions and (2) exhibit RS between execution and observation of the same action. The analysis revealed three significant cortical clusters in the right anterior intraparietal sulcus (aIPS), right primary somatosensory cortex and left premotor cortex that show these characteristics. While the aIPS has been reported before as a possible region for MN, the other two clusters haven’t been associated with MN directly yet using RS paradigms. We discuss the potential contribution of these regions to object-directed actions.