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mirror neurons language

Yaara Yeshurun, Stephen Swanson, Erez Simony, Janice Chen, Christina Lazaridi, Christopher J Honey, Uri Hasson
Differences in people's beliefs can substantially impact their interpretation of a series of events. In this functional MRI study, we manipulated subjects' beliefs, leading two groups of subjects to interpret the same narrative in different ways. We found that responses in higher-order brain areas-including the default-mode network, language areas, and subsets of the mirror neuron system-tended to be similar among people who shared the same interpretation, but different from those of people with an opposing interpretation...
January 1, 2017: Psychological Science
Jonathan Prather, Kazuo Okanoya, Johan J Bolhuis
Language as a computational cognitive mechanism appears to be unique to the human species. However, there are remarkable behavioral similarities between song learning in songbirds and speech acquisition in human infants that are absent in non-human primates. Here we review important neural parallels between birdsong and speech. In both cases there are separate but continually interacting neural networks that underlie vocal production, sensorimotor learning, and auditory perception and memory. As in the case of human speech, neural activity related to birdsong learning is lateralized, and mirror neurons linking perception and performance may contribute to sensorimotor learning...
January 10, 2017: Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
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
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
Jillian M Saffin, Hassaan Tohid
Understanding social cognition has become a hallmark in deciphering autism spectrum disorder. Neurobiological theories are taking precedence in causation studies as researchers look to abnormalities in brain development as the cause of deficits in social behavior, cognitive processes, and language. Following their discovery in the 1990s, mirror neurons have become a dominant theory for that the mirror neuron system may play a critical role in the pathophysiology of various symptoms of autism. Over the decades, the theory has evolved from the suggestion of a broken mirror neuron system to impairments in mirror neuron circuitry...
April 2016: Neurosciences: the Official Journal of the Pan Arab Union of Neurological Sciences
Keith M Smart, Benedict M Wand, Neil E O'Connell
BACKGROUND: Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a painful and disabling condition that usually manifests in response to trauma or surgery. When it occurs, it is associated with significant pain and disability. It is thought to arise and persist as a consequence of a maladaptive pro-inflammatory response and disturbances in sympathetically-mediated vasomotor control, together with maladaptive peripheral and central neuronal plasticity. CRPS can be classified into two types: type I (CRPS I) in which a specific nerve lesion has not been identified, and type II (CRPS II) where there is an identifiable nerve lesion...
February 24, 2016: Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
Kayoko Okada, Corianne Rogalsky, Lucinda O'Grady, Leila Hanaumi, Ursula Bellugi, David Corina, Gregory Hickok
Since the discovery of mirror neurons, there has been a great deal of interest in understanding the relationship between perception and action, and the role of the human mirror system in language comprehension and production. Two questions have dominated research. One concerns the role of Broca's area in speech perception. The other concerns the role of the motor system more broadly in understanding action-related language. The current study investigates both of these questions in a way that bridges research on language with research on manual actions...
February 2016: Neuropsychologia
Wenli Chen, Qian Ye, Xiangtong Ji, Sicong Zhang, Xi Yang, Qiumin Zhou, Fang Cong, Wei Chen, Xin Zhang, Bing Zhang, Yang Xia, Ti-Fei Yuan, Chunlei Shan
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the effect of hand action observation training, i.e., mirror neuron system (MNS) based training, on language function of aphasic patients after stroke. In addition, to reveal the tentative mechanism underlying this effect. METHODS: Six aphasic patients after stroke, meeting the criteria, undergo 3 weeks' training protocol (30 min per day, 6 days per week). Among them, four patients accepted an ABA training design, i.e., they implemented Protocol A (hand action observation combined with repetition) in the first and third weeks and carried out Protocol B (static object observation combined with repetition) in the second week...
2015: Frontiers in Psychology
Matz Larsson
Proponents of the motor theory of language evolution have primarily focused on the visual domain and communication through observation of movements. In the present paper, it is hypothesized that the production and perception of sound, particularly of incidental sound of locomotion (ISOL) and tool-use sound (TUS), also contributed. Human bipedalism resulted in rhythmic and more predictable ISOL. It has been proposed that this stimulated the evolution of musical abilities, auditory working memory, and abilities to produce complex vocalizations and to mimic natural sounds...
September 2015: Animal Cognition
María de Los Ángeles Bacigalupe, Silvana Pujol
Parkinson's disease is a multisystemic disorder that affects movement in its different levels of integration from the simplest motor act to the complexity of communication and social inclusion. The study of movement from the social cognitive neuroscience can contribute elements to the development of better rehabilitation treatments for Parkinson's disease patients. As a cognitive and social phenomenon, movement involves perception and action; paradoxical kinesia, as a property of motor system, is shown in this perception-action dialogue...
November 2014: Vertex: Revista Argentina de Psiquiatriá
Andrew Eisen, Roger Lemon, Matthew C Kiernan, Michael Hornberger, Martin R Turner
There is growing evidence that mirror neurons, initially discovered over two decades ago in the monkey, are present in the human brain. In the monkey, mirror neurons characteristically fire not only when it is performing an action, such as grasping an object, but also when observing a similar action performed by another agent (human or monkey). In this review we discuss the origin, cortical distribution and possible functions of mirror neurons as a background to exploring their potential relevance in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)...
July 2015: Clinical Neurophysiology: Official Journal of the International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology
Sonia Martínez-Sanchis
INTRODUCTION: In persons with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), aberrant sensory perceptions could be as characteristic and disruptive as the presence of anomalies in social communication and interaction or restricted and repetitive interests. Most of them present sensory modulation disorders (hyper- or hypo-responsiveness) in several sensory channels. Furthermore, there is a deficit in the integration of the information from a number of sensory systems (for example, auditory and visual)...
February 25, 2015: Revista de Neurologia
Tania Cohen-Maximov, Keren Avirame, Agnes Flöel, Michal Lavidor
BACKGROUND: Understanding actions based on either language or observation of gestures is presumed to involve the motor system, and reflect the engagement of an embodied conceptual network. The role of the left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) in language tasks is well established, but the role of the right hemisphere is unclear with some imaging evidence suggesting right IFG activation when gestures mismatch speech. OBJECTIVE: Using transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), we explored the hemispheric asymmetries in the assumed cognitive embodiment required for gestural-verbal integration...
May 2015: Brain Stimulation
Gabriella Cerri, Monia Cabinio, Valeria Blasi, Paola Borroni, Antonella Iadanza, Enrica Fava, Luca Fornia, Valentina Ferpozzi, Marco Riva, Alessandra Casarotti, Filippo Martinelli Boneschi, Andrea Falini, Lorenzo Bello
Mirror neurons, originally described in the monkey premotor area F5, are embedded in a frontoparietal network for action execution and observation. A similar Mirror Neuron System (MNS) exists in humans, including precentral gyrus, inferior parietal lobule, and superior temporal sulcus. Controversial is the inclusion of Broca's area, as homologous to F5, a relevant issue in light of the mirror hypothesis of language evolution, which postulates a key role of Broca's area in action/speech perception/production...
March 2015: Human Brain Mapping
Natalie A Kacinik
Idioms are used in conventional language twice as frequently as metaphors, but most research, particularly recent work on embodiment has focused on the latter. However, idioms have the potential to significantly deepen our understanding of embodiment because their meanings cannot be derived from their component words. To determine whether sensorimotor states could activate idiomatic meaning, participants were instructed to engage in postures/actions reflecting various idioms (e.g., sticking your neck out) relative to non-idiomatic control postures/actions while reading and responding to statements designed to assess idiomatic meaning...
2014: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
Ricardo R García, Francisco Zamorano, Francisco Aboitiz
The capacity for language is arguably the most remarkable innovation of the human brain. A relatively recent interpretation prescribes that part of the language-related circuits were co-opted from circuitry involved in hand control-the mirror neuron system (MNS), involved both in the perception and in the execution of voluntary grasping actions. A less radical view is that in early humans, communication was opportunistic and multimodal, using signs, vocalizations or whatever means available to transmit social information...
2014: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
Anna M Borghi, Angelo Cangelosi
The topic is characterized by a highly interdisciplinary approach to the issue of action and language integration. Such an approach, combining computational models and cognitive robotics experiments with neuroscience, psychology, philosophy, and linguistic approaches, can be a powerful means that can help researchers disentangle ambiguous issues, provide better and clearer definitions, and formulate clearer predictions on the links between action and language. In the introduction we briefly describe the papers and discuss the challenges they pose to future research...
July 2014: Topics in Cognitive Science
Dawn L Merrett, Isabelle Peretz, Sarah J Wilson
Singing has been used in language rehabilitation for decades, yet controversy remains over its effectiveness and mechanisms of action. Melodic Intonation Therapy (MIT) is the most well-known singing-based therapy; however, speculation surrounds when and how it might improve outcomes in aphasia and other language disorders. While positive treatment effects have been variously attributed to different MIT components, including melody, rhythm, hand-tapping, and the choral nature of the singing, there is uncertainty about the components that are truly necessary and beneficial...
2014: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
Richard Mooney
Mirror neurons are theorized to serve as a neural substrate for spoken language in humans, but the existence and functions of auditory-vocal mirror neurons in the human brain remain largely matters of speculation. Songbirds resemble humans in their capacity for vocal learning and depend on their learned songs to facilitate courtship and individual recognition. Recent neurophysiological studies have detected putative auditory-vocal mirror neurons in a sensorimotor region of the songbird's brain that plays an important role in expressive and receptive aspects of vocal communication...
2014: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences
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