Hearing Sounds, Understanding Actions: Action Representation in Mirror Neurons

  title={Hearing Sounds, Understanding Actions: Action Representation in Mirror Neurons},
  author={Evelyne Kohler and Christian Keysers and Maria Alessandra Umilt{\`a} and Leonardo Fogassi and Vittorio Gallese and Giacomo Rizzolatti},
  pages={846 - 848}
Many object-related actions can be recognized by their sound. We found neurons in monkey premotor cortex that discharge when the animal performs a specific action and when it hears the related sound. Most of the neurons also discharge when the monkey observes the same action. These audiovisual mirror neurons code actions independently of whether these actions are performed, heard, or seen. This discovery in the monkey homolog of Broca's area might shed light on the origin of language… 
Audiovisual mirror neurons and action recognition
A population of neurons in the ventral premotor cortex of the monkey that discharge both when the animal performs a specific action and when it hears or sees the same action performed by another individual are described.
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Functional magnetic resonance imaging findings support the hypothesis of a “hearing–doing” system that is highly dependent on the individual's motor repertoire, gets established rapidly, and consists of Broca's area as its hub.
Reflections on mirror neurons and speech perception
Mirror Neurons and the Evolution of Embodied Language
It is hypothesized that several components of human language, including some aspects of phonology and syntax, could be embedded in the organizational properties of the motor system and that a deeper knowledge of this system could shed light on how language evolved.
The role of actions in auditory object discrimination
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The results suggest that the human brain embodies a higher-order audio-visuo-motor representation of perceived actions, which is muscle-independent and corresponds to the goals of the action.
The Role of the Putative Mirror Neuron System in Language Comprehension
Single-cell recording in macaque monkeys has uncovered mirror neurons, which respond both when a monkey observes a transitiveaction, carries out that transitive action, or hears a sound associated with that action.


Premotor cortex and the recognition of motor actions.
Language within our grasp
Action recognition in the premotor cortex.
It is proposed that mirror neurons form a system for matching observation and execution of motor actions, similar to that of mirror neurons exists in humans and could be involved in recognition of actions as well as phonetic gestures.
A neuronal representation of the location of nearby sounds
Neurons in the brain of macaque monkeys that represent the auditory space surrounding the head, within roughly 30 cm, have spatial receptive fields that extend a limited distance outward from the head.
Neurophysiological mechanisms underlying the understanding and imitation of action
Evidence for the existence of a system, the 'mirror system', that seems to serve this mapping function in primates and humans is discussed, and its implications for the understanding and imitation of action are explored.
Coding of visual space by premotor neurons.
In primates, many neurons in ventral premotor cortex respond to visual stimuli in the space adjacent to the hand or arm, and provide a representation of space near the body that may be useful for the visual control of reaching.
Visual and somatosensory processing in the macaque temporal cortex: the role of ‘expectation’
This study revealed that tactile responses were influenced by the degree to which stimuli could be ‘expected’, and cells responsive to more than one sensory modality, visual and somatosensory responses were associated in a compatible manner.
Functional organization of inferior area 6 in the macaque monkey
It is proposed that the different classes of neurons form a vocabulary of motor acts and that this vocabulary can be accessed by somatosensory and visual stimuli.