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The effects of learning and intention on the neural network involved in the perception of meaningless actions

Abstract : PET was used to explore the neural network involved in the perception of meaningless action. In two conditions, subjects observed learned and unknown meaningless actions without any purpose. In two other conditions, subjects observed the same type of stimuli for later imitation. The control condition, which consisted of the presention of stationary hands, served as a baseline. Unsurprisingly, a common network that forms part of the dorsal pathway was engaged in all conditions when compared with stationary hands, and this was interpreted as being devoted to the analysis of hand movements. One of the most striking results of the present study was that some brain areas were strongly modulated by the learning level, independent of the subject's intention. Two different effects were observed: a reduced activity in posterior regions within the common network, which correlated with specific increases in the frontopolar area 10 and in the angular gyrus during the perception of learned meaningless actions compared with the perception of unknown actions. Finally, the major effect of the subject's intention to imitate was a strong increase in the dorsal pathway extending to the lateral premotor cortex and to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, which reflects the information processing needed for prospective action. Overall, our results provide evidence for both an effect of the visuomotor learning level and of the subject's intention on the neural network involved during the perception of human meaningless actions.
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https://www.hal.inserm.fr/inserm-02462859
Contributor : Julie Grezes <>
Submitted on : Friday, January 31, 2020 - 3:29:13 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, February 1, 2020 - 1:49:28 AM

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Julie Grezes, N. Costes, J. Decety. The effects of learning and intention on the neural network involved in the perception of meaningless actions. Brain - A Journal of Neurology , Oxford University Press (OUP), 1999, 122 (10), pp.1875-1887. ⟨10.1093/brain/122.10.1875⟩. ⟨inserm-02462859⟩

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