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Grounded Cognition: Mirror Neurons

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lecture from Grounded Cognition course at Faculty of Mathematics, Physics, and Informatics, Comenius University in Bratislava

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Grounded Cognition: Mirror Neurons

  1. 1. Mirror Neurons in Monkeys Mirror Neurons in Humans Roles of Mirror Neurons Mirror Neurons Kristína Rebrová [Grounded Cognition 2012] Kristína Rebrová [Grounded Cognition 2012] Mirror Neurons
  2. 2. Mirror Neurons in Monkeys Mirror Neurons in Humans Roles of Mirror Neurons Outline 1 Mirror Neurons in Monkeys 2 Mirror Neurons in Humans 3 Roles of Mirror Neurons Kristína Rebrová [Grounded Cognition 2012] Mirror Neurons
  3. 3. Mirror Neurons in Monkeys Mirror Neurons in Humans Roles of Mirror Neurons Mirror Neurons motor neurons with perceptual properties (visual, auditory) facilitate (mediate) understanding understanding of the actions “from the inside” (Rizzolatti and Sinigaglia, 2010) empathy, mind-reading (Gallese et al., 2004) action = meaningful sequence of movements originally discovered in monkeys, recently confirmed in humans Kristína Rebrová [Grounded Cognition 2012] Mirror Neurons
  4. 4. Mirror Neurons in Monkeys Mirror Neurons in Humans Roles of Mirror Neurons Discovery of Mirror Neurons Macaca Nemestrina, single-cell recording discovered accidentally during research of motor area F5: rostral part of inferior premotor cortex (Di Pellegrino et al., 1992) neurons sensitive to goal-oriented hand and mouth movements such as grasping, holding, or tearing activity noticed when the monkeys observed the experimenter collecting objects used in experiments first theory: mirror neurons mediate action-understanding (Gallese et al., 1996; Rizzolatti et al., 1996) Kristína Rebrová [Grounded Cognition 2012] Mirror Neurons
  5. 5. Mirror Neurons in Monkeys Mirror Neurons in Humans Roles of Mirror Neurons Mirror Neurons in Monkeys Kristína Rebrová [Grounded Cognition 2012] Mirror Neurons
  6. 6. Mirror Neurons in Monkeys Mirror Neurons in Humans Roles of Mirror Neurons Action Understanding Direct-matching hypothesis mirror neurons match the observed with the motor plan from the observer’s own motor repertoire this "motor simulation" is necessary to understand the observed action Visual hypothesis the observed action is assessed solely from the visual information in STS patients with motor impairments are able to recognize motion without ability to repeat it (Mahon and Carramaza, 2005) mirror neurons as an epiphenomenon (Hickok a Hauser, 2010) Reconciliation information circulates around the responsible areas, activity of the mirror neurons influences - facilitates visual perception in STS (Tessitore et al, 2010) Kristína Rebrová [Grounded Cognition 2012] Mirror Neurons
  7. 7. Mirror Neurons in Monkeys Mirror Neurons in Humans Roles of Mirror Neurons Mirror Neuron System (MNS) Rizzolatti et al. (2001), Rizzolatti and Sinigaglia (2010), ..etc parieto-frontal action observation-action execution circuit object-oriented motor acts (grasping,...) MNS in the brain areas F5, PFG (rostral IPL), and AIP the two latter parts receive high-order visual information from areas located inside the superior temporal sulcus (STS) mirror neurons also discovered in other areas: LIP (joint attention), VIP (body-directed motor acts), recently M1 (primary motor), etc. Kristína Rebrová [Grounded Cognition 2012] Mirror Neurons
  8. 8. Mirror Neurons in Monkeys Mirror Neurons in Humans Roles of Mirror Neurons Superior Temporal Sulcus encodes biological movement similarly to F5, but has larger repertoire lacks motor properties: reacts to movement only on the basis of visual input inseparable, but not a true part of the Mirror Neuron System contains variant and invariant neurons Perrett et. al (1991) neurons in the upper part of STS encode faces variant neurons react only to one view angle, invariant neurons react to all angles hierarchical organization: variant neurons feed the invariant ones similar principles found in MNS in area F5 Caggiano et al. (2011) Kristína Rebrová [Grounded Cognition 2012] Mirror Neurons
  9. 9. Mirror Neurons in Monkeys Mirror Neurons in Humans Roles of Mirror Neurons Variant and Invariant Neurons Kristína Rebrová [Grounded Cognition 2012] Mirror Neurons
  10. 10. Mirror Neurons in Monkeys Mirror Neurons in Humans Roles of Mirror Neurons Mirror and Canonical Neurons mirror neurons in F5 and PF (and other areas) a subset is active while observing similar action from repertoire canonical neurons (Grezes et al., 2003) in F5 are active when the monkey performs certain actions (but not when observes actions performed by others) fire when presented with a graspable object, irrespective of whether the grasp was performed inferred condition (the monkey is aware that it is possible to grasp it) Affordances (Gibson, 1977) Kristína Rebrová [Grounded Cognition 2012] Mirror Neurons
  11. 11. Mirror Neurons in Monkeys Mirror Neurons in Humans Roles of Mirror Neurons Human MN: Indirect Evidence studies on motor resonance (partial activation of motor areas during a sole observation of a movement) mu rhythm an EEG oscillation in 8 to 13 Hz and 20 Hz bands typical for motor rest gets desynchronized, diminishes, or vanishes when the subject observes motor acts first studies by Cohen-Seat et al. (1954), Gastaut and Bert (1954) recent studies, e.g. Oberman and Ramachandran (2007) various EEG, MEG, and TMS studies summarized by Rizzolatti and Craighero (2004) Kristína Rebrová [Grounded Cognition 2012] Mirror Neurons
  12. 12. Mirror Neurons in Monkeys Mirror Neurons in Humans Roles of Mirror Neurons Human MN: Direct Evidence first single cell study: Mukamel et al. (2011) patients with intractable epilepsy (electrodes according to medical locations) subjects presented with hand movements and facial gestures mirroring activity found in various parts of the brain: medial frontal lobe (SMA), medial temporal lobe (hippocampus, parahippocampal gyrus, entorhinal cortex) subset of mirror neurons with opposite patterns of excitation and inhibition during observation versus execution of an action: might serve for inhibitory purposes (similar phenomenon found in monkeys by Kraskov et al., 2009) Kristína Rebrová [Grounded Cognition 2012] Mirror Neurons
  13. 13. Mirror Neurons in Monkeys Mirror Neurons in Humans Roles of Mirror Neurons Differences of the Human MNS mirror neurons in monkeys react only when the action is complete and when the target is present (or obvious) react only to appropriate effectors: monkey/human hands react also when the target is hidden, but there must be sufficient clues present mirror neurons in humans react also to meaningless and intransitive actions react also to various different effectors including tools and robotic arms (Oberman and Ramachandran, 2007; Peeters et al., 2009) encode sole body movements from which the motor acts and actions are built - a parsing mechanism (Rizzolatti and Sinigaglia, 2010) Kristína Rebrová [Grounded Cognition 2012] Mirror Neurons
  14. 14. Mirror Neurons in Monkeys Mirror Neurons in Humans Roles of Mirror Neurons Understanding of actions and imitation motor and non-motor understanding (Rizzolatti and Sinigaglia, 2010) imitation: observing - (understanding) - copying dispute whether animals imitate (humans do) copying of both means and ends mirror neurons might play a role in understanding of the unknown actions and parsing them to primitives of already known and similar actions Kristína Rebrová [Grounded Cognition 2012] Mirror Neurons
  15. 15. Mirror Neurons in Monkeys Mirror Neurons in Humans Roles of Mirror Neurons Understanding of Goals strictly and broadly congruent mirror neurons (Rizzolatti and Fogassi, 2001, Rizzolatti and Sinigaglia, 2010) broadly congruent react to a whole category of actions leading to the same goal experiment with normal and reverse pliers (Umilta et al., 2008) fMRI study with aplasic individuals (born without arms) revealed activation regardless the effector (Gazzola et al., 2007) Kristína Rebrová [Grounded Cognition 2012] Mirror Neurons
  16. 16. Mirror Neurons in Monkeys Mirror Neurons in Humans Roles of Mirror Neurons Understanding of Emotions Gallese et al. (2004) describe the mirror mechanism as a basic functional mechanism that provides an insight into other minds mirror neurons for disgust found in insula insula and amygdala react to fearful facial expressions (Phillips et al.,1997, 1998) impairment in insula causes disgust deafness, which extends to the prosody of speech Kristína Rebrová [Grounded Cognition 2012] Mirror Neurons
  17. 17. Mirror Neurons in Monkeys Mirror Neurons in Humans Roles of Mirror Neurons Mirror Neurons and Autism Kristína Rebrová [Grounded Cognition 2012] Mirror Neurons
  18. 18. Mirror Neurons in Monkeys Mirror Neurons in Humans Roles of Mirror Neurons Role of MNS in the Evolution of Language a “missing link” between animal communication and human language (Arbib, 2005) area F5 and Broca’s area are anatomical homologues and share functional properties crucial for development, production and understanding of communication gestures the evolution of the manual gestural system, facilitated by the action-execution – action-observation matching property of neurons in Broca’s area paved the way to the evolution of the open vocalization system present in humans (speech) (Rizzolatti and Arbib, 1998) Kristína Rebrová [Grounded Cognition 2012] Mirror Neurons
  19. 19. Mirror Neurons in Monkeys Mirror Neurons in Humans Roles of Mirror Neurons Where Do Mirror Neurons Come From? Rizzolatti, Gallese, Arbib, and others: mirror neurons favored by the evolution capacity to “mirror” is inherent Heyes (2009) mirror neurons are not an adaptation, but merely a byproduct of associative learning (Pavlovian conditioning) motor resonance during action observation occurs due to memory retrieval of the execution of observed action (of memory formed during the execution of the particular action with visual guidance) Kristína Rebrová [Grounded Cognition 2012] Mirror Neurons
  20. 20. Mirror Neurons in Monkeys Mirror Neurons in Humans Roles of Mirror Neurons The End Thank you for your attention kristina.rebrova@gmail.com Kristína Rebrová [Grounded Cognition 2012] Mirror Neurons

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