We assessed the role of the human mirror neuron system (MNS) in complementary actions using functional magnetic resonance imaging while participants prepared to execute imitative or complementary actions. The BOLD signal in the right inferior frontal gyrus and bilateral inferior parietal lobes was greater during preparation of complementary than during imitative actions, suggesting that the MNS may be essential in dynamically coupling action observation to action execution.
Subscribe to Journal
Get full journal access for 1 year
only $17.42 per issue
All prices are NET prices.
VAT will be added later in the checkout.
Rent or Buy article
Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.
All prices are NET prices.
di Pellegrino, G., Fadiga, L., Fogassi, L., Gallese, V. & Rizzolatti, G. Exp. Brain Res. 91, 176–180 (1992).
Gallese, V., Fadiga, L., Fogassi, L. & Rizzolatti, G. Brain 119, 593–609 (1996).
Fogassi, L. et al. Science 308, 662–667 (2005).
Rizzolatti, G. & Craighero, L. Annu. Rev. Neurosci. 27, 169–192 (2004).
Iacoboni, M. et al. Science 286, 2526–2528 (1999).
Heiser, M., Iacoboni, M., Maeda, F., Marcus, J. & Mazziotta, J.C. Eur. J. Neurosci. 17, 1123–1128 (2003).
Fadiga, L., Fogassi, L., Pavesi, G. & Rizzolatti, G. J. Neurophysiol. 73, 2608–2611 (1995).
Hamilton, A.F. & Grafton, S.T. J. Neurosci. 26, 1133–1137 (2006).
Buccino, G. et al. Neuron 42, 323–334 (2004).
Koski, L. et al. Cereb. Cortex 12, 847–855 (2002).
Schutz-Bosbach, S., Mancini, B., Aglioti, A.M. & Haggard, P. Curr. Biol. 16, 1830–1834 (2006).
Brass, M. & Heyes, C. Trends Cogn. Sci. 9, 489–495 (2005).
Iacoboni, M. & Dapretto, M. Nat. Rev. Neurosci. 7, 942–951 (2006).
The present study was supported by the EU-Project Joint Action Science and Technology (IST-FP6-003747).
The authors declare no competing financial interests.
Experimental stimuli and time course. (PDF 40 kb)
Locations in MNI coordinates and labels of brain areas involved in complementary actions in the current experiment. (PDF 9 kb)
Locations (in MNI coordinates) and Brodmann's labels (BA) for brain areas in which BOLD signal was significantly associated with facilitation effects (that is, fast responses – slow responses) observed in imitative and complementary contexts. (PDF 11 kb)
About this article
Cite this article
Newman-Norlund, R., van Schie, H., van Zuijlen, A. et al. The mirror neuron system is more active during complementary compared with imitative action. Nat Neurosci 10, 817–818 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1038/nn1911
European Journal of Neuroscience (2020)
PLOS ONE (2020)
Social brain dysfunctionality in individuals with autism spectrum disorder and their first-degree relatives: An activation likelihood estimation meta-analysis
Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging (2020)
Nonlinear engagement of action observation network underlying action anticipation in players with different levels of expertise
Human Brain Mapping (2020)