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Neurosci Lett. 2013 Oct 25;555:220-4. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2013.09.044. Epub 2013 Sep 27.

Activation of the human mirror neuron system during the observation of the manipulation of virtual tools in the absence of a visible effector limb.

Author information

1
Department of Physiology, University of La Laguna, Campus de CC. de la Salud, 38071 Tenerife, Spain; Servicio de Resonancia Magnética para Investigaciones Biomédicas (SRMIB), University of La Laguna, Campus de CC. de la Salud, 38071 Tenerife, Spain. Electronic address: cmodrono@ull.edu.es.

Abstract

This work explores the mirror neuron system activity produced by the observation of virtual tool manipulations in the absence of a visible effector limb. Functional MRI data was obtained from healthy right-handed participants who manipulated a virtual paddle in the context of a digital game and watched replays of their actions. The results show how action observation produced extended bilateral activations in the parietofrontal mirror neuron system. At the same time, three regions in the left hemisphere (in the primary motor and the primary somatosensory cortex, the supplementary motor area and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex) showed a reduced BOLD, possibly related with the prevention of inappropriate motor execution. These results can be of interest for researchers and developers working in the field of action observation neurorehabilitation.

KEYWORDS:

Mirror neurons; Neurorehabilitation; Tool use; Virtual reality; fMRI

PMID:
24080372
DOI:
10.1016/j.neulet.2013.09.044
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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