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J Neurophysiol. 1995 Jun;73(6):2608-11.

Motor facilitation during action observation: a magnetic stimulation study.

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Istituto di Fisiologia Umana, Università di Parma, Italy.


1. We stimulated the motor cortex of normal subjects (transcranial magnetic stimulation) while they 1) observed an experimenter grasping 3D-objects, 2) looked at the same 3D-objects, 3) observed an experimenter tracing geometrical figures in the air with his arm, and 4) detected the dimming of a light. Motor evoked potentials (MEPs) were recorded from hand muscles. 2. We found that MEPs significantly increased during the conditions in which subjects observed movements. The MEP pattern reflected the pattern of muscle activity recorded when the subjects executed the observed actions. 3. We conclude that in humans there is a system matching action observation and execution. This system resembles the one recently described in the monkey.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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