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The so-called mirror neuron system (MNS) responds when humans observe actions performed by a member of their own species. This activity is understood as an internal motor representation of the observed movement pattern. By contrasting meaningless human hand movements with meaningless artificial movements of objects in space, we tested the claim that(More)
In a recent study we could show that during observation of artificial object movements a similar cortical network, including the areas of the so-called human mirror neuron system (hMNS), was activated as during the observation of hand movements. The present study investigated whether activation of the hMNS during the observation of artificial object(More)
Why does chanting, drumming or dancing together make people feel united? Here we investigate the neural mechanisms underlying interpersonal synchrony and its subsequent effects on prosocial behavior among synchronized individuals. We hypothesized that areas of the brain associated with the processing of reward would be active when individuals experience(More)
The ability to evaluate spontaneity in human behavior is called upon in the esthetic appreciation of dramatic arts and music. The current study addresses the behavioral and brain mechanisms that mediate the perception of spontaneity in music performance. In a functional magnetic resonance imaging experiment, 22 jazz musicians listened to piano melodies and(More)
Musical ensemble performance requires temporally precise interpersonal action coordination. To play in synchrony, ensemble musicians presumably rely on anticipatory mechanisms that enable them to predict the timing of sounds produced by co-performers. Previous studies have shown that individuals differ in their ability to predict upcoming tempo changes in(More)
There is wide agreement that the "dorsal (action) stream" processes visual information for movement control. However, movements depend not only on vision but also on tactile and kinesthetic information (=haptics). Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, the present study investigates to what extent networks within the dorsal stream are also utilized(More)
Humans vary substantially in their ability to learn new motor skills. Here, we examined inter-individual differences in learning to play the piano, with the goal of identifying relations to structural properties of white matter fiber tracts relevant to audio-motor learning. Non-musicians (n = 18) learned to perform three short melodies on a piano keyboard(More)
Humans spend a substantial share of their lives mind-wandering. This spontaneous thinking activity usually comprises autobiographical recall, emotional, and self-referential components. While neuroimaging studies have demonstrated that a specific brain "default mode network" (DMN) is consistently engaged by the "resting state" of the mind, the relative(More)
To investigate the cross-modal transfer of movement patterns necessary to perform melodies on the piano, 22 non-musicians learned to play short sequences on a piano keyboard by (1) merely listening and replaying (vision of own fingers occluded) or (2) merely observing silent finger movements and replaying (on a silent keyboard). After training, participants(More)
In the present study we investigated whether imitation of artificial movement trajectories of meaningless objects has an effect on how these trajectories are later perceptually processed within the human brain. During observation of a sequence of artificial object movements 10 participants (experimental group) actively imitated the trajectories during motor(More)