Laila Craighero

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A category of stimuli of great importance for primates, humans in particular, is that formed by actions done by other individuals. If we want to survive, we must understand the actions of others. Furthermore, without action understanding, social organization is impossible. In the case of humans, there is another faculty that depends on the observation of(More)
The precise neural mechanisms underlying speech perception are still to a large extent unknown. The most accepted view is that speech perception depends on auditory-cognitive mechanisms specifically devoted to the analysis of speech sounds. An alternative view is that, crucial for speech perception, it is the activation of the articulatory (motor) gestures(More)
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) was used to investigate whether the excitability of the corticospinal system is selectively affected by motor imagery. To this purpose, we performed two experiments. In the first one we recorded motor evoked potentials from right hand and arm muscles during mental simulation of flexion/extension movements of both(More)
Neuroscience research during the past ten years has fundamentally changed the traditional view of the motor system. In monkeys, the finding that premotor neurons also discharge during visual stimulation (visuomotor neurons) raises new hypotheses about the putative role played by motor representations in perceptual functions. Among visuomotor neurons, mirror(More)
Picking up an object requires two basic motor operations: reaching and grasping. Neurophysiological studies in monkeys have suggested that the visuomotor transformations necessary for these two operations are carried out by separate parietofrontal circuits and that, for grasping, a key role is played by a specific sector of the ventral premotor cortex: area(More)
The relations between stimuli triggering a hand grasping movement and the subsequent action were studied in normal human participants. Participants were instructed to prepare to grasp a bar, oriented either clockwise or counterclockwise, and to grasp it as fast as possible on presentation of a visual stimulus with their right hand. The visual stimuli were(More)
Five experiments investigated whether preparation of a grasping movement affects detection and discrimination of visual stimuli. Normal human participants were required to prepare to grasp a bar and then to grasp it as fast as possible on presentation of a visual stimulus. On the basis of the degree of sharing of their intrinsic properties with those of the(More)
Normal subjects were required to make horizontal or vertical saccades at the presentation of visual or acoustic imperative stimuli. The locations of visual imperative stimuli were orthogonal to the required saccade. Before stimulus presentation the subjects were cued about its location and instructed to allocate attention to it without moving the eyes. The(More)
There is growing evidence that observation of actions performed by other individuals activates observer's cortical motor areas. This matching of observed actions on the observer's motor repertoire could be at the basis of action recognition. Here we investigated if action observation, in addition to cortical motor areas, involves also low level motor(More)
'While seated, the patient took a glass, gave it to the examiner and then picked up a jug. He poured water into the glass and, having put down the jug, took the glass ...'. This compulsive behaviour, described by Lhermitte in patients with frontal lobe lesions, is an example of how, without any internal motivation, visual stimuli may impel a patient to act(More)