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Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation reveals a role for the left inferior parietal lobule in matching observed kinematics during imitation

Reader, Arran T.; Royce, Ben P.; Marsh, Jade E.; Chivers, Katy-Jayne; Holmes, Nicholas P.

Authors

Arran T. Reader

Ben P. Royce

Jade E. Marsh

Katy-Jayne Chivers



Abstract

Apraxia (a disorder of complex movement) suggests that the left inferior parietal lobule (IPL) plays a role in kinematic or spatial aspects of imitation, which may be particularly important for meaningless (i.e. unfamiliar intransitive) actions. Mirror neuron theories indicate that the IPL is part of a frontoparietal system that can support imitation by linking observed and stored actions through visuomotor matching, and have less to say about different subregions of the left IPL, or how different types of action (i.e. meaningful or meaningless) are processed for imitation. We used repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) to bridge this gap and better understand the roles of the left supramarginal gyrus (SMG) and left angular gyrus (AG) in imitation. We also examined whether these areas are differentially involved in meaningful and meaningless action imitation. We applied rTMS over the left SMG, over the left AG or during a no-rTMS baseline condition, and then asked participants to imitate a confederate’s actions whilst the arm and hand movements of both individuals were motion-tracked. rTMS over both the left SMG and the left AG reduced the velocity of participants’ finger movements relative to the actor during imitation of finger gestures, regardless of action meaning. Our results support recent claims in apraxia and confirm a role for the left IPL in kinematic processing during gesture imitation, regardless of action meaning.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Apr 30, 2018
Journal European Journal of Neuroscience
Print ISSN 0953-816X
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 47
Issue 8
Pages 918-928
APA6 Citation Reader, A. T., Royce, B. P., Marsh, J. E., Chivers, K., & Holmes, N. P. (2018). Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation reveals a role for the left inferior parietal lobule in matching observed kinematics during imitation. European Journal of Neuroscience, 47(8), 918-928. doi:10.1111/ejn.13886
DOI https://doi.org/10.1111/ejn.13886
Publisher URL https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/ejn.13886
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