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The left ventral premotor cortex is involved in hand shaping for intransitive gestures: evidence from a two-person imitation experiment

Reader, Arran T.; Holmes, Nicholas P.

The left ventral premotor cortex is involved in hand shaping for intransitive gestures: evidence from a two-person imitation experiment Thumbnail


Authors

Arran T. Reader

Nicholas P. Holmes



Abstract

The ventral premotor cortex (PMv) is involved in grasping and object manipulation, while the dorsal premotor cortex (PMd) has been suggested to play a role in reaching and action selection. These areas have also been associated with action imitation, but their relative roles in different types of action imitation are unclear. We examined the role of the left PMv and PMd in meaningful and meaningless action imitation by using repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS). Participants imitated meaningful and meaningless actions performed by a confederate actor while both individuals were motion-tracked. rTMS was applied over the left PMv, left PMd or a vertex control site during action observation or imitation. Digit velocity was significantly greater following stimulation over the PMv during imitation compared with stimulation over the PMv during observation, regardless of action meaning. Similar effects were not observed over the PMd or vertex. In addition, stimulation over the PMv increased finger movement speed in a (non-imitative) finger–thumb opposition task. We suggest that claims regarding the role of the PMv in object-directed hand shaping may stem from the prevalence of object-directed designs in motor control research. Our results indicate that the PMv may have a broader role in ‘target-directed’ hand shaping, whereby different areas of the hand are considered targets to act upon during intransitive gesturing

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 13, 2018
Online Publication Date Oct 10, 2018
Publication Date Oct 1, 2018
Deposit Date Jan 8, 2019
Publicly Available Date Jan 9, 2019
Journal Royal Society Open Science
Electronic ISSN 2054-5703
Publisher The Royal Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 5
Issue 10
Article Number 181356
DOI https://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.181356
Public URL https://nottingham-repository.worktribe.com/output/1451811
Publisher URL https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsos.181356

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