Neural Substrates of Action Imitation Studied by fMRI
Action imitation presents several interesting points for the study of object recognition and action because, during imitation, a person must manipulate body parts as objects and, at the same time, do this using our own body. Other people’s action can be imitated so easily that the complicated cognitive processes involved in imitation tend to be overlooked. It is well known that even the neonate can imitate (Meltzoff and Borton 1979; Meltzoff and Moore 1983). The process of imitating other people’s actions involves various cognitive elements such as visual perception of target actions, transforming perceived actions into one’s own body and/or motor representation, and simulation of one’s own motor image (Decety and Chaminade 2003; Jackson and Decety 2004; Chaminade et al. 2005).
KeywordsfMRI Study Neural Substrate Mirror Neuron Symbolic Meaning Hand Condition
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