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Stimuli presented in a non-attended location are responded to much slower than stimuli presented in an attended one. The hypotheses proposed to explain this effect make reference to covert movement of attention, hemifield inhibition, or attentional gradients. The experiment reported here was aimed at discriminating among these hypotheses. Subjects were cued(More)
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and a behavioral paradigm were used to assess whether listening to action-related sentences modulates the activity of the motor system. By means of single-pulse TMS, either the hand or the foot/leg motor area in the left hemisphere was stimulated in distinct experimental sessions, while participants were listening to(More)
According to the premotor theory of attention, the mechanisms responsible for spatial attention and the mechanisms involved in programming ocular saccades are basically the same. The aim of the present experiments was to test this claim. In experiment 1 subjects were presented with a visual display consisting of a fixation point and four boxes arranged(More)
Embodiment theory proposes that neural systems for perception and action are also engaged during language comprehension. Previous neuroimaging and neurophysiological studies have only been able to demonstrate modulation of action systems during comprehension of concrete language. We provide neurophysiological evidence for modulation of motor system activity(More)
Mirror neurons, first described in the rostral part of monkey ventral premotor cortex (area F5), discharge both when the animal performs a goal-directed hand action and when it observes another individual performing the same or a similar action. More recently, in the same area mirror neurons responding to the observation of mouth actions have been also(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)
We previously showed that when attention is allocated to the right or left of the fixation point, saccades directed to targets located above or below the fixation point deviate contralateral to the attention locus. In the present study, we examined how general this phenomenon is and whether the amount of saccade deviation depends on the location of(More)
It is well known that specific components of motor programs are automatically activated when they are afforded by object related pragmatic features. Among these features the handle appears to be particularly salient for interacting with an object. The aim of this study was to test the modulation of the motor system when object features, particularly(More)
 The aim of the present study was to investigate how spatial attention influences directional manual and saccadic reaction times. Two experiments were carried out. In experiment 1 subjects were instructed to perform pointing responses toward targets that were located either in the same or the opposite hemifield with respect to the hemifield in which an(More)
Recent neurophysiological and brain imaging studies have shown that the motor system is involved in language processing. However, it is an open question whether this involvement is a necessary requisite to understand language or rather a side effect of distinct cognitive processes underlying it. In order to clarify this issue we carried out three behavioral(More)