Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci. 2014 Aug;9(8):1082-8. doi: 10.1093/scan/nst085. Epub 2013 May 23.

Timecourse of mirror and counter-mirror effects measured with transcranial magnetic stimulation.

Author information

1
Università di Torino, Dipartimento di Psicologia, Centro di Scienza Cognitiva, Turin, Italy, All Souls College, University of Oxford, Oxford, OX1 4AL, UK, Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3UD, UK, MRC Social, Genetic & Developmental Psychiatry Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London, London SE5 8AF, UK, and Department of Psychology, University of Surrey, Guildford GU2 7XH, UK.
2
Università di Torino, Dipartimento di Psicologia, Centro di Scienza Cognitiva, Turin, Italy, All Souls College, University of Oxford, Oxford, OX1 4AL, UK, Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3UD, UK, MRC Social, Genetic & Developmental Psychiatry Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London, London SE5 8AF, UK, and Department of Psychology, University of Surrey, Guildford GU2 7XH, UKUniversità di Torino, Dipartimento di Psicologia, Centro di Scienza Cognitiva, Turin, Italy, All Souls College, University of Oxford, Oxford, OX1 4AL, UK, Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3UD, UK, MRC Social, Genetic & Developmental Psychiatry Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London, London SE5 8AF, UK, and Department of Psychology, University of Surrey, Guildford GU2 7XH, UK.
3
Università di Torino, Dipartimento di Psicologia, Centro di Scienza Cognitiva, Turin, Italy, All Souls College, University of Oxford, Oxford, OX1 4AL, UK, Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3UD, UK, MRC Social, Genetic & Developmental Psychiatry Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London, London SE5 8AF, UK, and Department of Psychology, University of Surrey, Guildford GU2 7XH, UK c.catmur@surrey.ac.uk.

Abstract

The human mirror system has been the subject of much research over the past two decades, but little is known about the timecourse of mirror responses. In addition, it is unclear whether mirror and counter-mirror effects follow the same timecourse. We used single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation to investigate the timecourse of mirror and counter-mirror responses in the human brain. Experiment 1 demonstrated that mirror responses can be measured from around 200 ms after observed action onset. Experiment 2 demonstrated significant effects of counter-mirror sensorimotor training at all timepoints at which a mirror response was found in Experiment 1 (i.e. from 200 ms onward), indicating that mirror and counter-mirror responses follow the same timecourse. By suggesting similarly direct routes for mirror and counter-mirror responses, these results support the associative account of mirror neuron origins whereby mirror responses arise as a result of correlated sensorimotor experience during development. More generally, they contribute to theorizing regarding mirror neuron function by providing some constraints on how quickly mirror responses can influence social cognition.

KEYWORDS:

mirror neuron; mirror neuron system; sensorimotor learning; timecourse; transcranial magnetic stimulation

PMID:
23709352
PMCID:
PMC4127010
DOI:
10.1093/scan/nst085
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center