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How does imitation occur? How can the motor plans necessary for imitating an action derive from the observation of that action? Imitation may be based on a mechanism directly matching the observed action onto an internal motor representation of that action ("direct matching hypothesis"). To test this hypothesis, normal human participants were asked to(More)
Inferior parietal lobule (IPL) neurons were studied when monkeys performed motor acts embedded in different actions and when they observed similar acts done by an experimenter. Most motor IPL neurons coding a specific act (e.g., grasping) showed markedly different activations when this act was part of different actions (e.g., for eating or for placing).(More)
Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to localize brain areas that were active during the observation of actions made by another individual. Object- and non-object-related actions made with different effectors (mouth, hand and foot) were presented. Observation of both object- and non-object-related actions determined a somatotopically(More)
Understanding the intentions of others while watching their actions is a fundamental building block of social behavior. The neural and functional mechanisms underlying this ability are still poorly understood. To investigate these mechanisms we used functional magnetic resonance imaging. Twenty-three subjects watched three kinds of stimuli: grasping hand(More)
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(More)
Positron emission tomography (PET) was used to localize brain regions that are active during the observation of grasping movements. Normal, right-handed subjects were tested under three conditions. In the first, they observed grasping movements of common objects performed by the experimenter. In the second, they reached and grasped the same objects. These(More)
The functional properties of neurons located in the rostral part of inferior area 6 were studied in awake, partially restrained macaque monkeys. The most interesting property of these neurons was that their firing correlated with specific goal-related motor acts rather than with single movements made by the animal. Using the motor acts as the classification(More)
The cortical motor system of primates is formed by a mosaic of anatomically and functionally distinct areas. These areas are not only involved in motor functions, but also play a role in functions formerly attributed to higher order associative cortical areas. In the present review, we discuss three types of higher functions carried out by the motor(More)
Observing actions made by others activates the cortical circuits responsible for the planning and execution of those same actions. This observation-execution matching system (mirror-neuron system) is thought to play an important role in the understanding of actions made by others. In an fMRI experiment, we tested whether this system also becomes active(More)