Understanding motor events: a neurophysiological study

  title={Understanding motor events: a neurophysiological study},
  author={Giuseppe Di Pellegrino and Luciano Fadiga and Leonardo Fogassi and Vittorio Gallese and Giacomo Rizzolatti},
  journal={Experimental Brain Research},
SummaryNeurons of the rostral part of inferior premotor cortex of the monkey discharge during goal-directed hand movements such as grasping, holding, and tearing. We report here that many of these neurons become active also when the monkey observes specific, meaningful hand movements performed by the experimenters. The effective experimenters' movements include among others placing or retrieving a piece of food from a table, grasping food from another experimenter's hand, and manipulating… 

Mirror Neurons Responding to Observation of Actions Made with Tools in Monkey Ventral Premotor Cortex

It is proposed that tool-responding mirror neurons enable the observing monkey to extend action-understanding capacity to actions that do not strictly correspond to its motor representations, which support the notion that the motor cortex plays a crucial role in understanding action goals.

Visual Feedback from the Own Acting Hand Modulates the Activity of Grasping Neurons in Monkey Premotor Area

The finding that neurons in area F5 exhibit discharge properties that are common to both purely motor and mirror neurons allows the formulation of important assumptions about the critical role of online visual information during grasping and the nature of the mirror discharge.

The mirror mechanism: recent findings and perspectives

  • G. RizzolattiL. Fogassi
  • Biology, Psychology
    Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
  • 2014
The role of the mirror mechanism in planning actions and in understanding the intention underlying the others’ motor acts is discussed and some human studies suggesting that motor intention in humans may rely, as in the monkey, on the mirror mechanisms are reviewed.

Functional Lateralization of the Mirror Neuron System in Monkey and Humans

This review will first analyze studies in the monkey, describing the functional properties of neurons of the parieto-frontal circuits, involved in the organization of reaching-grasping actions, in terms of unilateral or bilateral control.

Electrophysiology of Action Representation

  • L. FadigaL. Craighero
  • Biology, Psychology
    Journal of clinical neurophysiology : official publication of the American Electroencephalographic Society
  • 2004
The specific facilitatory effect of motor imagery, action/object observation, and speech listening on motor excitability shown by these experiments provides strong evidence that the motor system is constantly involved whenever the idea of an action is evoked.



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.

Neurons related to reaching-grasping arm movements in the rostral part of area 6 (area 6aβ)

It is suggested that, unlike inferior area 6, which is mostly involved in selection of effectors on the basis of the physical properties of the objects and their spatial location, area 6aβ plays a role in the preparation of reaching-grasping arm movements and in their release when the appropriate conditions are set.

Premotor cortex and preparation for movement

It is concluded that premotor cortex is concerned with retrieving the response that is appropriate given a particular cue.

Premotor cortex and the conditions for movement in monkeys (Macaca fascicularis)

Learning-dependent neuronal activity in the premotor cortex: activity during the acquisition of conditional motor associations

  • AR MitzM. GodschalkS. Wise
  • Biology, Psychology
    The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience
  • 1991
The present findings support a role for premotor cortex in motor preparation, generally, and suggest a specific role in the selection of movements on the basis of arbitrary associations.

Premotor cortex neurons in macaques: activity before distal and proximal forelimb movements

  • K. KurataJ. Tanji
  • Biology, Psychology
    The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience
  • 1986
Premotor cortex neurons were found to be active in association with a movement involving specifically the distal forelimb, and a number of neurons responded preferentially to one or two of the three signals.

Vision and Action: The Control of Grasping

This book examines electrohysiological studies of motor and premotor areas in the cerebral cortex, kinematic studies of prehension in normal and neurologically-impaired individuals, and elevtomyographic studies of muscles controlling grasping.

Face-Selective Cells in the Temporal Cortex of Monkeys

  • R. Desimone
  • Biology
    Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
  • 1991
A critical analysis of the evidence for face neurons is presented and the implications of these neurons for models of object recognition are discussed and some analogies with the development of language in humans are suggested.

Functional organization of inferior area 6 in the macaque monkey

By combining single neuron recording and intracortical microstimulation, it is found that inferior area 6 is somatotopically organized and argued that the receptive field arrangement and the response properties are more complex in area F4 than in the primary motor cortex.