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Neuroreport. 2010 Nov 17;21(16):1050-4. doi: 10.1097/WNR.0b013e32833fcb71.

Does focusing on hand-grasping intentions modulate electroencephalogram μ and α suppressions?

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Department of Psychology, Center for Neural Computation Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel.


Understanding the intentions of others presumably involves a human analog of the mirror neuron system. A putative marker of such mirror activity is the suppression of electroencephalographic oscillations in the 8-12 Hz range, which, when recorded over somatosensory areas, is associated with motor activity and labeled μ rhythms. We investigated whether μ-suppression can be modulated by attention to another person's intention as expressed by her hand movement toward an object and whether this suppression is distinguished from the suppression of α waves that oscillate in the same frequency range and are modulated by attention and cognitive load. Both μ and α suppressions were modulated by task difficulty, and not distinctively by intention, reflecting the recruitment of resources needed for task performance.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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