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Mirror neuron system

Dahan Anat, Reiner Miriam
The extensive use of gestures for human-human communication, independently of culture and language, suggests an underlying universal neural mechanism for gesture recognition. The mirror neuron system (MNS) is known to respond to observed human actions, and overlaps with self-action. The minimal cues needed for activation of the MNS for gesture recognition, facial expressions and bodily dynamics, is not yet defined. Using LED-point representations of gestures, we compared two types of brain activations: 1) in response to human recognizable vs non-recognizable motion and 2) in response to human vs non-human motion...
October 15, 2016: International Journal of Psychophysiology
Dan Denis, Richard Rowe, A Mark Williams, Elizabeth Milne
The human mirror neuron system is believed to play an important role in facilitating the ability of athletes to anticipate the actions of an opponent. This system is often assessed with EEG by measuring event-related changes in mu (8-13Hz) sensorimotor oscillations. However, traditional channel-based analyses of this measure are flawed in that due to volume conduction effects mu and non-mu alpha activity can become mixed. This flaw means it is unclear the extent to which mu activity indexes the mirror system, as opposed to other processes such as attentional demand...
October 13, 2016: NeuroImage
Julio Plata-Bello, Cristián Modroño, Silvia Acosta-López, Yaiza Pérez-Martín, Francisco Marcano, Víctor García-Marín, José Luis González-Mora
Nearly 20 % of patients who suffer a subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) still display cognitive impairment even a year after follow-up. Visuospatial and visuoperceptive domains may be impaired in this cognitive impairment and may not have been fully studied in these patients. Furthermore, these cognitively impaired domains have been associated with activity in the so-called mirror neuron system (MNS). The aim of the study is to analyze the pattern of brain activity with an MNS task-based functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study in SAH patients...
October 12, 2016: Brain Imaging and Behavior
Jess E Reynolds, Sophie Kerrigan, Catherine Elliott, Brendan S Lay, Melissa K Licari
It has been hypothesized that deficits in imitation, linked to abnormal functioning of the mirror neuron system (MNS), may contribute to the motor impairments associated with developmental coordination disorder (DCD). The authors aimed to examine imitation of complex novel postures and sequences of gestures in children with and without probable DCD (pDCD), using the postural praxis and sequencing praxis subtests of the Sensory Integration and Praxis Tests (Ayres, 1989 ). Participants were 29 boys with pDCD between 6...
October 11, 2016: Journal of Motor Behavior
Vincent Taschereau-Dumouchel, Sébastien Hétu, Pierre-Emmanuel Michon, Etienne Vachon-Presseau, Elsa Massicotte, Louis De Beaumont, Shirley Fecteau, Judes Poirier, Catherine Mercier, Yvon C Chagnon, Philip L Jackson
Motor representations in the human mirror neuron system are tuned to respond to specific observed actions. This ability is widely believed to be influenced by genetic factors, but no study has reported a genetic variant affecting this system so far. One possibility is that genetic variants might interact with visuomotor associative learning to configure the system to respond to novel observed actions. In this perspective, we conducted a candidate gene study on the Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) Val66Met polymorphism, a genetic variant linked to motor learning in regions of the mirror neuron system, and tested the effect of this polymorphism on motor facilitation and visuomotor associative learning...
October 5, 2016: Scientific Reports
Luisa Lugli, Anna Chiara Obertis, Anna M Borghi
Is somebody going to hurt us? We draw back. The present study investigates using behavioral measures the interplay between imitative and complementary actions activated while observing female/male hands performing different actions. Female and male participants were required to discriminate the gender of biologically and artificially colored hands that displayed both individual (grasping) and social (giving and punching) actions. Biological hands evoked automatic imitation, while hands of different gender activated complementary mechanisms...
September 23, 2016: Psychological Research
Lawrence P Behmer, Lisa R Fournier
Questions regarding the malleability of the mirror neuron system (MNS) continue to be debated. MNS activation has been reported when people observe another person performing biological goal-directed behaviors, such as grasping a cup. These findings support the importance of mapping goal-directed biological behavior onto one's motor repertoire as a means of understanding the actions of others. Still, other evidence supports the Associative Sequence Learning (ASL) model which predicts that the MNS responds to a variety of stimuli after sensorimotor learning, not simply biological behavior...
September 8, 2016: European Journal of Neuroscience
Yasaman Malekizadeh, Alison Holiday, Devon Redfearn, James A Ainge, Gayle Doherty, Jenni Harvey
A key pathology of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is amyloid β (Aβ) accumulation that triggers synaptic impairments and neuronal death. Metabolic disruption is common in AD and recent evidence implicates impaired leptin function in AD. Thus the leptin system may be a novel therapeutic target in AD. Indeed, leptin has cognitive enhancing properties and it prevents the aberrant effects of Aβ on hippocampal synaptic function and neuronal viability. However, as leptin is a large peptide, development of smaller leptin-mimetics may be the best therapeutic approach...
September 6, 2016: Cerebral Cortex
Maryam Alimardani, Shuichi Nishio, Hiroshi Ishiguro
Brain computer interfaces (BCIs) have been developed and implemented in many areas as a new communication channel between the human brain and external devices. Despite their rapid growth and broad popularity, the inaccurate performance and cost of user-training are yet the main issues that prevent their application out of the research and clinical environment. We previously introduced a BCI system for the control of a very humanlike android that could raise a sense of embodiment and agency in the operators only by imagining a movement (motor imagery) and watching the robot perform it...
2016: PloS One
Shiri Simon, Roy Mukamel
INTRODUCTION: The ability to understand actions and intentions of others is of great importance to social relationships and is associated with the mirror neuron system of the human brain. Whether conscious perception of specific actions is necessary to trigger activity in this system, or alternatively whether this response is independent of conscious perception is not known. METHODS: We addressed this issue by rendering videos of right hand movements invisible to conscious perception, and measuring electroencephalogram (EEG) power suppression in the mu (8-13 Hz) and beta (15-25 Hz) range as index corresponding to the magnitude of mirror neuron activity...
August 2016: Brain and Behavior
Sai Krishna Tikka, Umesh Shreekantiah, Asha Krishnan, Nishant Goyal, S Haque Nizamie, Daya Ram
Cognitive processes underlying reciprocal social interactions are understood by the mechanism of embodiment, which is closely related to the mirror neuron system. Electroencephalographic (EEG) mu activity is a neural marker of the mirror neuron system. This study investigated the mu activity, localization of its sources and functional connectivity, which was induced while watching reciprocal social interactive motion across various degrees of complexity. Eighteen healthy participants underwent high-resolution EEG recording using 256-channels while they watched a specifically designed, culture specific, video task that showed two persons interacting socially using body gestures...
August 2016: Asian Journal of Psychiatry
V Drinovac Vlah, L Bach-Rojecky, Z Lacković
"Mirror pain" or mirror-image pain (MP) is pain opposite to the side of injury. Mechanism and frequency in humans are not known. There is no consent on therapy. Here we report that unilaterally injected botulinum toxin type A (BT-A) has bilateral effect in experimental MP, thus deserves to be investigated as therapy for this condition. We examined the localization of BT-A's bilateral antinociceptive action in MP induced by 3 % carrageenan intramuscular injection in Wistar rats. BT-A was applied peripherally (5 U/kg), into ipsilateral or contralateral hind paw pad (i...
August 9, 2016: Journal of Neural Transmission
Siyang Yin, Yuelu Liu, Mingzhou Ding
The mu rhythm is a field oscillation in the ∼10Hz range over the sensorimotor cortex. For decades, the suppression of mu (event-related desynchronization) has been used to index movement planning, execution, and imagery. Recent work reports that non-motor processes, such as spatial attention and movement observation, also desynchronize mu, raising the possibility that the mu rhythm is associated with the activity of multiple brain regions and systems. In this study, we tested this hypothesis by recording simultaneous resting-state EEG-fMRI from healthy subjects...
2016: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
Emilie Salvia, Moritz Süß, Ruxandra Tivadar, Sarah Harkness, Marie-Hélène Grosbras
Observing others' actions enhances muscle-specific cortico-spinal excitability, reflecting putative mirror neurons activity. The exposure to emotional stimuli also modulates cortico-spinal excitability. We investigated how those two phenomena might interact when they are combined, i.e., while observing a gesture performed with an emotion, and whether they change during the transition between adolescence and adulthood, a period of social and brain maturation. We delivered single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) over the hand area of the left primary motor cortex of 27 healthy adults and adolescents and recorded their right first dorsal interossus (FDI) muscle activity (i...
2016: Frontiers in Psychology
JiYoung Kim, SeongYoel Kim
[Purpose] Several action observation/imagery training studies have been conducted in patients with limited physical activity showing improvements in motor function. However, most studies compared effects of action observation and imagery, so little is known about the changes caused by subsequent observation of target objects. Moreover, few studies analyzed brain wave changes in the EEG mu rhythm. [Subjects and Methods] Eighteen healthy female adults participated in this study, and were divided into two groups: 'Visual Stimuli' and 'Non-Visual Stimuli'...
June 2016: Journal of Physical Therapy Science
Neomi Singer, Nori Jacoby, Tamar Lin, Gal Raz, Lavi Shpigelman, Gadi Gilam, Roni Y Granot, Talma Hendler
Music is a powerful means for communicating emotions among individuals. Here we reveal that this continuous stream of affective information is commonly represented in the brains of different listeners and that particular musical attributes mediate this link. We examined participants' brain responses to two naturalistic musical pieces using functional Magnetic Resonance imaging (fMRI). Following scanning, as participants listened to the musical pieces for a second time, they continuously indicated their emotional experience on scales of valence and arousal...
November 1, 2016: NeuroImage
Rebecca M Borg, Benji Fenech Salerno, Neville Vassallo, Rémy Bordonne, Ruben J Cauchi
The neuromuscular disorder, spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), results from insufficient levels of the survival motor neuron (SMN) protein. Together with Gemins 2-8 and Unrip, SMN forms the large macromolecular SMN-Gemins complex, which is known to be indispensable for chaperoning the assembly of spliceosomal small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (snRNPs). It remains unclear whether disruption of this function is responsible for the selective neuromuscular degeneration in SMA. In the present study, we first show that loss of wmd, the Drosophila Unrip orthologue, has a negative impact on the motor system...
October 2016: Neurobiology of Disease
Michael A Arbib
The approach to language evolution suggested here focuses on three questions: How did the human brain evolve so that humans can develop, use, and acquire languages? How can the evolutionary quest be informed by studying brain, behavior, and social interaction in monkeys, apes, and humans? How can computational modeling advance these studies? I hypothesize that the brain is language ready in that the earliest humans had protolanguages but not languages (i.e., communication systems endowed with rich and open-ended lexicons and grammars supporting a compositional semantics), and that it took cultural evolution to yield societies (a cultural constructed niche) in which language-ready brains could become language-using brains...
July 1, 2016: Psychonomic Bulletin & Review
Isabelle S Häberling, Paul M Corballis, Michael C Corballis
Language, gesture, and handedness are in most people represented in the left cerebral hemisphere. To explore the relations among these attributes, we collected fMRI images in a large sample of left- and right-handers while they performed language tasks and watched action sequences. Regions of interest included the frontal and parietal areas previously identified as comprising an action-observation network, and the frontal and temporal areas comprising the primary areas for language production and comprehension...
September 2016: Cortex; a Journal Devoted to the Study of the Nervous System and Behavior
Martin Schulte-Rüther, Ellen Otte, Kübra Adigüzel, Christine Firk, Beate Herpertz-Dahlmann, Iring Koch, Kerstin Konrad
It has been suggested that an early deficit in the human mirror neuron system (MNS) is an important feature of autism. Recent findings related to simple hand and finger movements do not support a general dysfunction of the MNS in autism. Studies investigating facial actions (e.g., emotional expressions) have been more consistent, however, mostly relied on passive observation tasks. We used a new variant of a compatibility task for the assessment of automatic facial mimicry responses that allowed for simultaneous control of attention to facial stimuli...
June 28, 2016: Autism Research: Official Journal of the International Society for Autism Research
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