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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)