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The mirror neuron system is more active during complementary compared with imitative action

Nature Neuroscience volume 10, pages 817818 (2007) | Download Citation

Abstract

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.

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Acknowledgements

The present study was supported by the EU-Project Joint Action Science and Technology (IST-FP6-003747).

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Nijmegen Institute for Cognition and Information, Radboud University Nijmegen, P.O. Box 9104, 6500 HE Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

    • Roger D Newman-Norlund
    • , Hein T van Schie
    • , Alexander M J van Zuijlen
    •  & Harold Bekkering
  2. FC Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging, Radboud University Nijmegen, P.O. Box 9101, 6500 HB Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

    • Roger D Newman-Norlund
    •  & Harold Bekkering

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Contributions

R.D.N.-N. and A.M.J.v.Z. conducted the experiment and analyzed the data. R.D.N.-N. wrote the manuscript with contributions from A.M.J.v.Z., H.T.v.S and H.B. The project was supervised by H.B.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Roger D Newman-Norlund.

Supplementary information

PDF files

  1. 1.

    Supplementary Fig. 1

    Experimental stimuli and time course.

  2. 2.

    Supplementary Table 1

    Locations in MNI coordinates and labels of brain areas involved in complementary actions in the current experiment.

  3. 3.

    Supplementary Table 2

    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.

  4. 4.

    Supplementary Methods

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nn1911

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