Congruent Embodied Representations for Visually Presented Actions and Linguistic Phrases Describing Actions

Lisa Aziz-Zadeh, Stephen M. Wilson, Giacomo Rizzolatti, Marco Iacoboni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

469 Scopus citations

Abstract

The thesis of embodied semantics holds that conceptual representations accessed during linguistic processing are, in part, equivalent to the sensory-motor representations required for the enactment of the concepts described [1-6]. Here, using fMRI, we tested the hypothesis that areas in human premotor cortex that respond both to the execution and observation of actions-mirror neuron areas [7-18]-are key neural structures in these processes. Participants observed actions and read phrases relating to foot, hand, or mouth actions. In the premotor cortex of the left hemisphere, a clear congruence was found between effector-specific activations of visually presented actions and of actions described by literal phrases. These results suggest a key role of mirror neuron areas in the re-enactment of sensory-motor representations during conceptual processing of actions invoked by linguistic stimuli.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1818-1823
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Biology
Volume16
Issue number18
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 19 2006

Keywords

  • SYSNEURO

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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