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Investigating common coding of observed and executed actions in the monkey brain using cross-modal multi-variate fMRI classification.

08:00 EDT 19th May 2018 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Investigating common coding of observed and executed actions in the monkey brain using cross-modal multi-variate fMRI classification."

Mirror neurons are generally described as a neural substrate hosting shared representations of actions, by simulating or 'mirroring' the actions of others onto the observers' own motor system. Since single neuron recordings are rarely feasible in humans, it has been argued that cross-modal multi-variate pattern analysis (MVPA) of non-invasive fMRI data is a suitable technique to investigate common coding of observed and executed actions, allowing researchers to infer the presence of mirror neurons in the human brain. In an effort to close the gap between monkey electrophysiology and human fMRI data with respect to the mirror neuron system, here we tested this proposal for the first time in the monkey. Rhesus monkeys either performed reach-and-grasp or reach-and-touch motor acts with their right hand in the dark or observed videos of human actors performing similar motor acts. Unimodal decoding showed that both executed or observed motor acts could be decoded from numerous brain regions. Specific portions of rostral parietal, premotor and motor cortices, previously shown to house mirror neurons, in addition to somatosensory regions yielded significant asymmetric, action-specific cross-modal decoding. These results validate the use of cross-modal multi-variate fMRI analyses to probe the representations of own and others' actions in the primate brain and support the proposed mapping of others' actions onto the observer's own motor cortices.

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This article was published in the following journal.

Name: NeuroImage
ISSN: 1095-9572
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A subfamily of the Old World monkeys, CERCOPITHECIDAE, that inhabits the forests of Africa and Asia. The genera COLOBUS (Procolobus; colobus), Nasalis (proboscis monkey), Presbytis (Semnopithecus; leaf monkey), Pygathrix (Rhinopithecus; snub-nosed monkey), and Simias (pig-tailed langur) all belong to this subfamily.

One of the four types of brain waves seen on EEG characterized by a high amplitude and a frequency of 4 Hz and below. They are considered the "deep sleep waves" observed during sleep in dreamless states, infancy, and in some brain disorders.

Neurons that fire when an animal acts or observes the same action of another thus coding the motor response. They were originally discovered in the premotor and parietal cortex of the monkey and studies have shown that neurons that have a similar mechanism are present in humans. Mirror neurons are theorized to be related to social cognition.

a genus of Old World monkeys of the family CERCOPITHECINAE that inhabit the forests and savannas of Africa. It contains only one species, ERYTHROCEBUS PATAS, also known as the patas monkey or red monkey.

A species of the genus ERYTHROCEBUS, subfamily CERCOPITHECINAE, family CERCOPITHECIDAE. It inhabits the flat open arid country of Africa. It is also known as the patas monkey or the red monkey.

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