A Causal Role for Primary Motor Cortex in Perception of Observed Actions

Palmer, C.E., Bunday, K.L., Davare, M. and Kilner, J.M. 2016. A Causal Role for Primary Motor Cortex in Perception of Observed Actions. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience. 28 (12), pp. 2021-2029. doi:10.1162/jocn_a_01015

TitleA Causal Role for Primary Motor Cortex in Perception of Observed Actions
TypeJournal article
AuthorsPalmer, C.E., Bunday, K.L., Davare, M. and Kilner, J.M.
Abstract

It has been proposed that motor system activity during action observation may be modulated by the kinematics of observed actions. One purpose of this activity during action observation may be to predict the visual consequence of another person’s action based on their movement kinematics. Here, we tested the hypothesis that the primary motor cortex (M1) may have a causal role in inferring information that is present in the kinematics of observed actions. Healthy participants completed an action perception task before and after applying continuous theta burst stimulation (cTBS) over left M1. A neurophysiological marker was used to quantify the extent of M1 disruption following cTBS and stratify our sample a priori to provide an internal control. We found that a disruption to M1 caused a reduction in an individual’s sensitivity to interpret the kinematics of observed actions; the magnitude of suppression of motor excitability predicted this change in sensitivity.

KeywordsPerception
Primary motor cortex
action observation
kinematic
JournalJournal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Journal citation28 (12), pp. 2021-2029
ISSN0898-929X
Year2016
PublisherMIT Press
Accepted author manuscript
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1162/jocn_a_01015
PubMed ID27458752
Publication dates
Published26 Jul 2016

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