Pier Francesco Ferrari

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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)
In the ventral premotor cortex (area F5) of the monkey there are neurons that discharge both when the monkey performs specific motor actions and when it observes another individual performing a similar action (mirror neurons). Previous studies on mirror neurons concerned hand actions. Here, we describe the mirror responses of F5 neurons that motorically(More)
Yawn contagion in humans has been proposed to be related to our capacity for empathy. It is presently unclear whether this capacity is uniquely human or shared with other primates, especially monkeys. Here, we show that in gelada baboons (Theropithecus gelada) yawning is contagious between individuals, especially those that are socially close, i.e., the(More)
The general view on the functional role of the monkey inferior parietal lobule (IPL) convexity mainly derives from studies carried out more than two decades ago and does not account for the functional complexity suggested by more recent neuroanatomical findings. We investigated this issue by recording multi- and single units in the IPL convexity of two(More)
In the present study, we describe a new type of visuomotor neurons, named tool-responding mirror neurons, which are found in the lateral sector of monkey ventral premotor area F5. Tool-responding mirror neurons discharge when the monkey observes actions performed by an experimenter with a tool (a stick or a pair of pliers). This response is stronger than(More)
The ability of monkeys to follow the gaze of other individuals is a matter of debate in many behavioral studies. Physiological studies have shown that in monkeys, as in humans, there are neural correlates of eye direction detection. There is little evidence at the behavioral level, however, of the presence and development of such abilities in monkeys. The(More)
The emergence of social behaviors early in life is likely crucial for the development of mother-infant relationships. Some of these behaviors, such as the capacity of neonates to imitate adult facial movements, were previously thought to be limited to humans and perhaps the ape lineage. Here we report the behavioral responses of infant rhesus macaques(More)
It is well known that ventral premotor area F5 codes the goal of executed and observed motor acts. This area is anatomically connected with part of the inferior parietal cortex (area PFG), which has been recently shown to play a role in action organization and intention understanding. The aims of the present study were 1) to assess whether the discharge of(More)
Autonomic and limbic neural activities are linked to aggressive behavior, and it is hypothesized that activities in the cardiovascular and monoaminergic systems play a role in preparing for an aggressive challenge. The objective was to learn about the emergence of monoamine activity in nucleus accumbens before an aggressive confrontation that was omitted at(More)
Evidence suggests that there are differences in the capacity for empathy between males and females. However, how deep do these differences go? Stereotypically, females are portrayed as more nurturing and empathetic, while males are portrayed as less emotional and more cognitive. Some authors suggest that observed gender differences might be largely due to(More)