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Timecourse of mirror and counter-mirror effects measured with transcranial magnetic stimulation.

Cavallo, A, Heyes, C, Becchio, C, Bird, G and Catmur, C (2013) Timecourse of mirror and counter-mirror effects measured with transcranial magnetic stimulation. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 9. pp. 1082-1088.

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The human mirror system has been the subject of much research over the past two decades, but little is known about the timecourse of mirror responses. In addition, it is unclear whether mirror and counter-mirror effects follow the same timecourse. We used single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation to investigate the timecourse of mirror and counter-mirror responses in the human brain. Experiment 1 demonstrated that mirror responses can be measured from around 200 ms after observed action onset. Experiment 2 demonstrated significant effects of counter-mirror sensorimotor training at all timepoints at which a mirror response was found in Experiment 1 (i.e. from 200 ms onward), indicating that mirror and counter-mirror responses follow the same timecourse. By suggesting similarly direct routes for mirror and counter-mirror responses, these results support the associative account of mirror neuron origins whereby mirror responses arise as a result of correlated sensorimotor experience during development. More generally, they contribute to theorizing regarding mirror neuron function by providing some constraints on how quickly mirror responses can influence social cognition.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Psychology
Authors :
Cavallo, A
Heyes, C
Becchio, C
Bird, G
Catmur, C
Date : 23 May 2013
DOI : 10.1093/scan/nst085
Copyright Disclaimer : Copyright The Author(s) 2013. Published by Oxford University Press. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Uncontrolled Keywords : mirror neuron, mirror neuron system, sensorimotor learning, timecourse, transcranial magnetic stimulation
Related URLs :
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 27 Jun 2014 10:05
Last Modified : 22 Aug 2017 09:26

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