+ Site Statistics
+ Search Articles
+ PDF Full Text Service
How our service works
Request PDF Full Text
+ Follow Us
Follow on Facebook
Follow on Twitter
Follow on LinkedIn
+ Subscribe to Site Feeds
Most Shared
PDF Full Text
+ Translate
+ Recently Requested

Dissociating object directed and non-object directed action in the human mirror system; implications for theories of motor simulation

Dissociating object directed and non-object directed action in the human mirror system; implications for theories of motor simulation

Plos One 7(4): E32517

Mirror neurons are single cells found in macaque premotor and parietal cortices that are active during action execution and observation. In non-human primates, mirror neurons have only been found in relation to object-directed movements or communicative gestures, as non-object directed actions of the upper limb are not well characterized in non-human primates. Mirror neurons provide important evidence for motor simulation theories of cognition, sometimes referred to as the direct matching hypothesis, which propose that observed actions are mapped onto associated motor schemata in a direct and automatic manner. This study, for the first time, directly compares mirror responses, defined as the overlap between action execution and observation, during object directed and meaningless non-object directed actions. We present functional MRI data that demonstrate a clear dissociation between object directed and non-object directed actions within the human mirror system. A premotor and parietal network was preferentially active during object directed actions, whether observed or executed. Moreover, we report spatially correlated activity across multiple voxels for observation and execution of an object directed action. In contrast to predictions made by motor simulation theory, no similar activity was observed for non-object directed actions. These data demonstrate that object directed and meaningless non-object directed actions are subserved by different neuronal networks and that the human mirror response is significantly greater for object directed actions. These data have important implications for understanding the human mirror system and for simulation theories of motor cognition. Subsequent theories of motor simulation must account for these differences, possibly by acknowledging the role of experience in modulating the mirror response.

Please choose payment method:

(PDF emailed within 1 workday: $29.90)

Accession: 052659903

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 22505995

Related references

Object perception, object-directed action, and physical knowledge in infancy. Gazzaniga, M S The cognitive neurosciences 165-179, 1995

Communicative hand gestures and object-directed hand movements activated the mirror neuron system. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience 2(2): 114-122, 2008

Unaware Processing of Tools in the Neural System for Object-Directed Action Representation. Journal of Neuroscience 37(44): 10712-10724, 2017

The Representation of Object-Directed Action and Function Knowledge in the Human Brain. Cerebral Cortex 26(4): 1609-1618, 2016

Mirror mediated object discrimination and self-directed behavior in a female gorilla. Primates. 36(4): 515-521, 1995

Ventral occipital lesions impair object recognition but not object-directed grasping: an fMRI study. Brain 126(Pt 11): 2463-2475, 2003

Putting an object in context and acting on it: neural mechanisms of goal-directed response to contextual object. Reviews in the Neurosciences 24(1): 27-49, 2013

Object perception and object-directed reaching in infancy. Journal of Experimental Psychology. General 114(2): 198-212, 1985

Agnosia for object orientation: implications for theories of object recognition. Neuropsychologia 35(2): 153-163, 1997

The modulation of inhibition of return by object-internal structure: Implications for theories of object-based attentional selection. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review 10(2): 493-502, 2003

Social modulation of object-directed but not image-directed actions. Plos One 13(10): E0205830, 2018

Infants' understanding of object-directed action. Cognition 98(2): 137-155, 2005

Two distinct modes of control for object-directed action. Progress in Brain Research 144: 131-144, 2003

Infants' Understanding of Object-Directed Action: An Interdisciplinary Synthesis. Frontiers in Psychology 7: 111, 2016

Mirror neurons and intention understanding: Dissociating the contribution of object type and intention to mirror responses using electromyography. Psychophysiology 55(7): E13061, 2018