Richard E. Passingham

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When we look at our hands, we immediately know that they are part of our own body. This feeling of ownership of our limbs is a fundamental aspect of self-consciousness. We have studied the neuronal counterparts of this experience. A perceptual illusion was used to manipulate feelings of ownership of a rubber hand presented in front of healthy subjects while(More)
When task instructions are given, the human brain establishes a task set before the task is actually performed. By introducing a delay between the instruction and the task, we have identified the neural correlates of task sets using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Subjects were instructed to remember a sequence of positions or letters, either(More)
In the "rubber-hand illusion," the sight of brushing of a rubber hand at the same time as brushing of the person's own hidden hand is sufficient to produce a feeling of ownership of the fake hand. We shown previously that this illusion is associated with activity in the multisensory areas, most notably the ventral premotor cortex (Ehrsson et al., 2004).(More)
When humans are engaged in goal-related processing, activity in prefrontal cortex is increased. However, it has remained unclear whether this prefrontal activity encodes a subject's current intention. Instead, increased levels of activity could reflect preparation of motor responses, holding in mind a set of potential choices, tracking the memory of(More)
Prefrontal neurons have been shown to represent task rules. Here we show the mechanisms by which the rule-selective activity in the prefrontal cortex influences subsequent cognitive performance based on that rule. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we found that the frontopolar cortex interacted with posterior areas differently depending on(More)
Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we tested whether unconscious information can influence the cognitive control system in the human prefrontal cortex. Volunteers had to prepare to perform either a phonological judgment or a semantic judgment on an upcoming word, based on the instruction given at the beginning of each trial. However, in some(More)
The human brain contains specialized circuits for observing and understanding actions. Previous studies have not distinguished whether this "mirror system" uses specialized motor representations or general processes of visual inference and knowledge to understand observed actions. We report the first neuroimaging study to distinguish between these(More)
By using a paradigm based on metacontrast masking, we created experimental conditions in which the subjective report of consciousness differs but the objectively measured ability to discriminate visual targets does not. This approach allowed us to study the neural correlate of consciousness while having performance levels carefully matched in healthy human(More)
The feeling of body ownership is a fundamental aspect of self-consciousness. The underlying neural mechanisms can be studied by using the illusion where a person is made to feel that a rubber hand is his or her own hand by brushing the person's hidden real hand and synchronously brushing the artificial hand that is in full view. Here we show that threat to(More)