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Modulation of the Intracortical LFP during Action Execution and Observation
Stephan Waldert, Ganesh Vigneswaran, Roland Philipp, Roger N. Lemon, and Alexander Kraskov


The activity of mirror neurons in macaque ventral premotor cortex (PMv) and primary motor cortex (M1) is modulated by the observation of another's movements. This modulation could underpin well documented changes in EEG/MEG activity indicating the existence of a mirror neuron system in humans. Because the local field potential (LFP) represents an important link between macaque single neuron and human noninvasive studies, we focused on mirror properties of intracortical LFPs recorded in the PMv and M1 hand regions in two macaques while they reached, grasped and held different objects, or observed the same actions performed by an experimenter. Upper limb EMGs were recorded to control for covert muscle activity during observation.

The movement-related potential (MRP), investigated as intracortical low-frequency LFP activity (<9 Hz), was modulated in both M1 and PMv, not only during action execution but also during action observation. Moreover, the temporal LFP modulations during execution and observation were highly correlated in both cortical areas. Beta power in both PMv and M1 was clearly modulated in both conditions. Although the MRP was detected only during dynamic periods of the task (reach/grasp/release), beta decreased during dynamic and increased during static periods (hold).

Comparison of LFPs for different grasps provided evidence for partially nonoverlapping networks being active during execution and observation, which might be related to different inputs to motor areas during these conditions. We found substantial information about grasp in the MRP corroborating its suitability for brain–machine interfaces, although information about grasp was generally low during action observation.

#science   #neuroscience   #LFP   #mirrorneurons  

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Does anyone know some interesting references for language processing in the motor cortex (particular pre-motor cortex) and/or thalamus? I am also interested in any kind of language prediction. Grateful for any good source...

#science   #neuroscience   #language   #linguistics   #neurolinguistic  

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"The mirror neuron claim has escaped the lab and is starting to find its way into popular culture. You might hear it said, for example, that watching a World Cup match is an intense experience because our mirror neurons allow us to experience the game as if we were on the field itself, simulating every kick and pass. But as with older myths, this speculation has lost its connection with the data..."

#science   #mirrorneuron   #neuroscience  

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"Cortical Mechanisms Underlying the Organization of Goal-Directed Actions and Mirror Neuron-Based Action Understanding"

An extensive review of the Mirror Neuron System / Mirror Systems covering the past 20yrs by the Maestro Giacomo Rizzolatti himself...

#science   #neuroscience   #mirrorneurons   #actionunderstanding   #biology   #psychology  

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New keyboard app for those with non-verbal autism! Check it out on the Google play store +Aut2Speak
A new way for those with non-verbal autism to communicate!

Check out our newly released app!

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Neuronal responses to face-like and facial stimuli in the monkey superior colliculus

The Superior Colliculus is still good for surprises and therefore one of my favourite structures...

The abstract:
The superficial layers of the superior colliculus (sSC) appear to function as a subcortical visual pathway that bypasses the striate cortex for the rapid processing of coarse facial information. We investigated the responses of neurons in the monkey sSC during a delayed non-matching-to-sample (DNMS) task in which monkeys were required to discriminate among five categories of visual stimuli [photos of faces with different gaze directions, line drawings of faces, face-like patterns (three dark blobs on a bright oval), eye-like patterns, and simple geometric patterns]. Of the 605 sSC neurons recorded, 216 neurons responded to the visual stimuli. Among the stimuli, face-like patterns elicited responses with the shortest latencies. Low-pass filtering of the images did not influence the responses. However, scrambling of the images increased the responses in the late phase, and this was consistent with a feedback influence from upstream areas. A multidimensional scaling (MDS) analysis of the population data indicated that the sSC neurons could separately encode face-like patterns during the first 25-ms period after stimulus onset, and stimulus categorization developed in the next three 25-ms periods. The amount of stimulus information conveyed by the sSC neurons and the number of stimulus-differentiating neurons were consistently higher during the 2nd to 4th 25-ms periods than during the first 25-ms period. These results suggested that population activity of the sSC neurons preferentially filtered face-like patterns with short latencies to allow for the rapid processing of coarse facial information and developed categorization of the stimuli in later phases through feedback from upstream areas

#neuroscience   #science   #colliculus  

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Free Neuroscience course that runs 10 weeks with mini-lectures of about 10 minutes each

"Anyone interested in the brain is encouraged to sign up. No background is required. For those who may have forgotten their high school biology, short lessons for catch-up will be available as well as suggestions for further study".

many thanks for sharing to +Greg Bufithis 

See more at

#neuroscience   #science   #brain   #biology   #onlinecourses     #sciencesunday   #scienceeveryday  

Hi all, I'm a DPhil applicant in Experimental Psychology in the department of theoretical and computational neuroscience at Oxford University. My proposed research involves using mirror neurons to understand autism spectrum disorders. I was wondering if anyone knows of any funding available to doctoral students studying mirror neurons from America in the UK. Thanks, any help is appreciated.

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Baboons know when to be noisy

☞ Cognitive building blocks for sophisticated communication may have predated language.
☞ We report evidence of social understanding and intentional communication in baboons.
☞ Baboons show tactical use of communicative signals depending on partner's attention.
☞ Baboons tailor visual and auditory gestures to the state of the partner's eyes.
☞ Baboons shift to nonvocal acoustic communication when the recipient is not attending.

Baboons made more begging hand gestures when experimenters had their eyes open. When the experimenters' eyes were closed or their backs were turned, the monkeys tended to make noisy banging actions instead. Attention-getting gestures in monkeys may have been a starting point for the evolution of intentional vocal communication in great apes and humans, the researchers suggest.

here the original article (behind a pay wall)

#science   #biology   #zoology   #behavior   #communiction   #sciencesunday   #scienceeveryday  
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