Neuroscience Information Framework

Options
Only Pubmed Central
Include Pubmed Central
Sections
Title
Abstract
Introduction
Methods
Results
Supplement
Appendix
Contributions
Background
Commentary
Funding
Limitations
Caption
FILTERS

Functional imaging of face and hand imitation: towards a motor theory of empathy.

Authors:
Leslie KR, Johnson-Frey SH, Grafton ST
Affiliation:
Journal:
NeuroImage

Abstract

Empathy requires the ability to map the feelings of others onto our own nervous system. Until recently, there was no plausible mechanism to explain how such a mapping might occur. The discovery of mirror neurons, however, suggests that the nervous system is capable of mapping the observed actions of others onto the premotor cortex of the self, at least for reaching and grasping movements. Is there a mirroring system for emotive actions, such as facial expression? Subjects (N = 15; all right-handed; eight men, seven women) watched movies of facial expressions (smile or frown) and hand movements (move index or middle finger) while brain activity was imaged using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Subjects watched the movies under three different conditions: passive viewing, active imitation, and an active motor control. Subjects also performed a verb generation task to functionally identify language-processing areas. We found evidence for a common cortical imitation circuit for both face and hand imitation, consisting of Broca's area, bilateral dorsal and ventral premotor areas, right superior temporal gyrus (STG), supplementary motor area, posterior temporo-occipital cortex, and cerebellar areas. For faces, passive viewing led to significant activation in the right ventral premotor area, whereas imitation produced bilateral activation. This result is consistent with evidence for right hemisphere (RH) dominance for emotional processing, and suggests that there may be a right hemisphere mirroring system that could provide a neural substrate for empathy.

SumsDB Links

  1. Welcome

    Welcome to NIF. Explore available research resources: data, tools and materials, from across the web

  2. Community Resources

    Search for resources specially selected for NIF community

  3. More Resources

    Search across hundreds of additional biomedical databases

  4. Literature

    Search Pub Med abstracts and full text from PubMed Central

  5. Insert your Query

    Enter your search terms here and hit return. Search results for the selected tab will be returned.

  6. Join the Community

    Click here to login or register and join this community.

  7. Categories

    Narrow your search by selecting a category. For additional help in searching, view our tutorials.

  8. Query Info

    Displays the total number of search results. Provides additional information on search terms, e.g., automated query expansions, and any included categories or facets. Expansions, filters and facets can be removed by clicking on the X. Clicking on the + restores them.

  9. Search Results

    Displays individual records and a brief description. Click on the icons below each record to explore additional display options.

X