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Zaifeng Gao, Xiqian Lu, Mowei Shen, Rende Shui, Shulin Chen; Rehearsing Biological Motion in Working Memory: An fMRI Study. Journal of Vision 2014;14(10):1009. doi: 10.1167/14.10.1009.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Holding biological motion (BM) - the movements of animate entities, in working memory (WM) is important to our daily social life. However, the neural mechanisms underlying the rehearsal of BM in WM remain unknown. The current study investigated this issue by hypothesizing that, analogous to BM perception, human mirror neuron system (MNS) is involved in rehearsing BM in WM. To examine the MNS hypothesis of BM rehearsal, we performed a human functional magnetic resonance imaging study by using point-light BM animations as the stimuli of interest. A matched non-biological object motion stimuli (moving circles) served as a further control. Previous perception studies have revealed that the perception of BM significantly activates posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS) and ventral premotor cortex (vPMC), both of which have been considered as core parts of human MNS system. In a change-detection task, we required the participants to remember 2 or 4 BM animations or circle motions. Sixteen valid participants took part in the experiment. In line with previous studies, we found that only the memorization of BM animations significantly activated the pSTS and vPMC. Moreover, higher memory load of BM led to significantly higher degree of activations in both brain areas. We concluded that the MNS underlies the rehearsal process of BM stimuli in WM.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2014
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