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Curr Biol. 2006 Sep 19;16(18):1818-23.

Congruent embodied representations for visually presented actions and linguistic phrases describing actions.

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Dipartimento di Neuroscienze, Università di Parma, Via Volturno, 39/E, I-43100 Parma, Italy.


The thesis of embodied semantics holds that conceptual representations accessed during linguistic processing are, in part, equivalent to the sensory-motor representations required for the enactment of the concepts described . Here, using fMRI, we tested the hypothesis that areas in human premotor cortex that respond both to the execution and observation of actions-mirror neuron areas -are key neural structures in these processes. Participants observed actions and read phrases relating to foot, hand, or mouth actions. In the premotor cortex of the left hemisphere, a clear congruence was found between effector-specific activations of visually presented actions and of actions described by literal phrases. These results suggest a key role of mirror neuron areas in the re-enactment of sensory-motor representations during conceptual processing of actions invoked by linguistic stimuli.

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