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Neural processing of observed oro-facial movements reflects multiple action encoding strategies in the human brain

Muthukumaraswamy, Suresh Daniel, Johnson, Blake W., Gaetz, William C. and Cheyne, Douglas O. 2006. Neural processing of observed oro-facial movements reflects multiple action encoding strategies in the human brain. Brain Research 1071 (1) , pp. 105-112. 10.1016/j.brainres.2005.11.053

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In this experiment, the oscillatory responses of the MEG were characterized during the observation of four viewing conditions: (a) observation of mouth movements, (b) observation of a non-biological motion stimulus (a mechanical aperture opening and shutting), (c) observation of object-directed mouth movements and (d) observation of speech-like mouth movements. Data were analyzed using synthetic aperture magnetometry (SAM) in three frequency bands, beta (15–35 Hz), gamma (35–70 Hz) and alpha/mu (8–15 Hz). Results showed that observations of biological motion resulted in beta desynchronization over lateral sensorimotor areas, while observations of non-biological motion resulted in a more medial desynchronization, an effect that may be related to the processing of a structured event sequence. Observation of linguistic movements resulted in less alpha/beta desynchronization in posterior brain regions in comparison to biological motion stimuli, suggesting that linguistically-relevant stimuli are processed with different neuronal systems than those recruited by normal action observation. We suggest that non-linguistic actions recruit dorsal systems while linguistic actions engage ventral processing systems. Object-directed movements showed the largest sensorimotor activations, suggesting that, as is the case for observations of hand movements, motoric processing is particularly sensitive to the viewing of goal-directed actions. Taken together, the results indicate that the brain utilizes multiple action encoding strategies, tailored to the function of the observed movement.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Uncontrolled Keywords: Synthetic aperture magnetometry; Magnetoencephalography; Biological motion; Mirror neuron; Action observation; Beta rhythm
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0006-8993
Last Modified: 07 Aug 2019 22:10

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