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Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci. 2015 Jun;10(6):783-9. doi: 10.1093/scan/nsu115. Epub 2014 Sep 26.

I know what I will see: action-specific motor preparation activity in a passive observation task.

Author information

1
Department of Human Movement, Social and Health Sciences, University of Rome 'Foro Italico', 00135 Rome, Italy, Department of Psychology, University of Rome 'La Sapienza', 00185 Rome, Italy, Center for Neuroscience and Cognitive Systems, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, 38068, Rovereto (TN), Italy, Neuropsychological Unit, IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation, 00179 Rome, Italy, Laboratory of Neuromotor Physiology, IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation, 00179 Rome, Italy, and Centre of Space Bio-medicine, University of Rome 'Tor Vergata', 00133 Rome, Italy Department of Human Movement, Social and Health Sciences, University of Rome 'Foro Italico', 00135 Rome, Italy, Department of Psychology, University of Rome 'La Sapienza', 00185 Rome, Italy, Center for Neuroscience and Cognitive Systems, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, 38068, Rovereto (TN), Italy, Neuropsychological Unit, IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation, 00179 Rome, Italy, Laboratory of Neuromotor Physiology, IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation, 00179 Rome, Italy, and Centre of Space Bio-medicine, University of Rome 'Tor Vergata', 00133 Rome, Italy Department of Human Movement, Social and Health Sciences, University of Rome 'Foro Italico', 00135 Rome, Italy, Department of Psychology, University of Rome 'La Sapienza', 00185 Rome, Italy, Center for Neuroscience and Cognitive Systems, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, 38068, Rovereto (TN), Italy, Neuropsychological Unit, IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation, 00179 Rome, Italy, Laboratory of Neuromotor Physiology, IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation, 00179 Rome, Italy, and Centre of Space Bio-medicine, University of Rome 'Tor Vergata', 00133 Rome, Italy chiara.bozzacchi@iit.it CNCS@UniTn.
2
Department of Human Movement, Social and Health Sciences, University of Rome 'Foro Italico', 00135 Rome, Italy, Department of Psychology, University of Rome 'La Sapienza', 00185 Rome, Italy, Center for Neuroscience and Cognitive Systems, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, 38068, Rovereto (TN), Italy, Neuropsychological Unit, IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation, 00179 Rome, Italy, Laboratory of Neuromotor Physiology, IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation, 00179 Rome, Italy, and Centre of Space Bio-medicine, University of Rome 'Tor Vergata', 00133 Rome, Italy Department of Human Movement, Social and Health Sciences, University of Rome 'Foro Italico', 00135 Rome, Italy, Department of Psychology, University of Rome 'La Sapienza', 00185 Rome, Italy, Center for Neuroscience and Cognitive Systems, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, 38068, Rovereto (TN), Italy, Neuropsychological Unit, IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation, 00179 Rome, Italy, Laboratory of Neuromotor Physiology, IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation, 00179 Rome, Italy, and Centre of Space Bio-medicine, University of Rome 'Tor Vergata', 00133 Rome, Italy.
3
Department of Human Movement, Social and Health Sciences, University of Rome 'Foro Italico', 00135 Rome, Italy, Department of Psychology, University of Rome 'La Sapienza', 00185 Rome, Italy, Center for Neuroscience and Cognitive Systems, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, 38068, Rovereto (TN), Italy, Neuropsychological Unit, IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation, 00179 Rome, Italy, Laboratory of Neuromotor Physiology, IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation, 00179 Rome, Italy, and Centre of Space Bio-medicine, University of Rome 'Tor Vergata', 00133 Rome, Italy Department of Human Movement, Social and Health Sciences, University of Rome 'Foro Italico', 00135 Rome, Italy, Department of Psychology, University of Rome 'La Sapienza', 00185 Rome, Italy, Center for Neuroscience and Cognitive Systems, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, 38068, Rovereto (TN), Italy, Neuropsychological Unit, IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation, 00179 Rome, Italy, Laboratory of Neuromotor Physiology, IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation, 00179 Rome, Italy, and Centre of Space Bio-medicine, University of Rome 'Tor Vergata', 00133 Rome, Italy Department of Human Movement, Social and Health Sciences, University of Rome 'Foro Italico', 00135 Rome, Italy, Department of Psychology, University of Rome 'La Sapienza', 00185 Rome, Italy, Center for Neuroscience and Cognitive Systems, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, 38068, Rovereto (TN), Italy, Neuropsychological Unit, IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation, 00179 Rome, Italy, Laboratory of Neuromotor Physiology, IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation, 00179 Rome, Italy, and Centre of Space Bio-medicine, University of Rome 'Tor Vergata', 00133 Rome, Italy.

Abstract

Literature on mirror neurons has shown that seeing someone preparing to move generates in the motor areas of the observers a brain activity similar to that generated when the subject prepares his own actions. Thus, the 'mirroring' of action would not be limited to the execution phase but also involves the preparation process. Here we confirm and extend this notion showing that, just as different brain activities prepare different voluntary actions, also different brain activities prepare to observe different predictable actions. Videos of two different actions from egocentric point of view were presented in separate blocks: (i) grasping of a cup and (ii) impossible grasping of a cup. Subjects had to passively observe the videos showing object-directed hand movements. Through the use of the event-related potentials, we found a cortical activity before observing the actions, which was very similar to the one recorded prior to the actual execution of that same action, in terms of both topography and latency. This anticipatory activity does not represent a general preparation state but an action-specific state, because being dependent on the specific meaning of the forthcoming action. These results reinforce our knowledge about the correspondence between action, perception and cognition.

KEYWORDS:

ERP; action observation; grasping; motor preparation

PMID:
25261822
PMCID:
PMC4448019
DOI:
10.1093/scan/nsu115
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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