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Watching the movie scene in which a tarantula crawls on James Bond's chest can make us literally shiver--as if the spider crawled on our own chest. What neural mechanisms are responsible for this "tactile empathy"? The observation of the actions of others activates the premotor cortex normally involved in the execution of the same actions. If a similar(More)
In humans and monkeys the mirror neuron system transforms seen actions into our inner representation of these actions. Here we asked if this system responds also if we see an industrial robot perform similar actions. We localised the motor areas involved in the execution of hand actions, presented the same subjects blocks of movies of humans or robots(More)
This study aimed to explore the perception of different components of biological movement in individuals with autism and Asperger syndrome. The ability to recognize a person's actions, subjective states, emotions, and objects conveyed by moving point-light displays was assessed in 19 participants with autism and 19 comparable typical control participants.(More)
What neural mechanism underlies the capacity to understand the emotions of others? Does this mechanism involve brain areas normally involved in experiencing the same emotion? We performed an fMRI study in which participants inhaled odorants producing a strong feeling of disgust. The same participants observed video clips showing the emotional facial(More)
Mutual gaze may be described as a psychological process during which two persons have the feeling of a brief link between their two minds. In the monkey, specific cell assemblies in the superior temporal cortex of the brain are responsive to gaze. This suggests that the brain may have evolved mechanisms for interpreting direct eye contact. These mechanisms(More)
Several recent studies suggest that autism may result from abnormal communication between brain regions. We directly assessed this hypothesis by testing the presence of abnormalities in a model of the functional cerebral network engaged during explicit emotion processing in adults with high functioning autism or Asperger syndrome. Comparison of structural(More)
The ability to grasp emotional messages in everyday gestures and respond to them is at the core of successful social communication. The hypothesis that abnormalities in socio-emotional behavior in people with autism are linked to a failure to grasp emotional significance conveyed by gestures was explored. We measured brain activity using fMRI during(More)
Neuroimaging techniques such as positron emission tomography (PET) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) are widely used to identify the cerebral correlates of cognitive tasks. The resting state presents the advantage to serve as a reference in all experiments but is also an ill-defined mental state because it may vary both from one subject to(More)
A novel population of cells is described, located in the anterior part of the superior temporal sulcus (STSa, sometimes called STPa) of the temporal lobe in the macaque monkey. These cells respond selectively to the sight of reaching but only when the agent performing the action is seen to be attending to the target position of the reaching. We describe how(More)
The premotor and parietal mirror neuron system (MNS) is thought to contribute to the understanding of observed actions by mapping them onto "corresponding" motor programs of the observer [1-24], but how would the MNS respond to the observation of hand actions if the observer never had hands? Would it not show changes of blood-oxygen-level dependent (BOLD)(More)