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NeuromagIng Center CronIngen 5 year AnnIversary Report 20032008

SocIaI 8raIn Lab


CroupIeader: Prof.dr. C.M. Keysers
AcIion in Ihe brain: Shared neural circuiIs lor acIion
observaIion, lisIening and execuIion
Valeria Gazzola


Summary

UnderstandIng the actIons oI other peopIe Is crItIcaI In a socIaI worId. We show
that vIewIng or hearIng the actIons oI others trIggers neuraI representatIon oI
actIons wIthIn our own motor repertoIre that wouId aIIow us to achIeve a sImIIar
goaI. These actIvatIons are strongest In the most empathIc IndIvIduaIs, IInkIng
thIs phenomenon to our empathIc understandIng oI other peopIe.


lnIroducIion

HearIng rhythmIc steps and musIc comIng Irom above, we mIght IeeI that the
neIghbors are havIng a dance party. FrequentIy, such guesses wIII be rIght. What
are the neuraI bases oI such spontaneous understandIng oI other peopIe`s
actIonsZ CaIIese and coIIeagues Iound mIrror neurons In the premotor cortex oI
macaques that dIscharge both when the monkey perIorms an actIon and when It
sees another IndIvIduaI actIng sImIIarIy. Those neurons appear to transIate what
the monkey observes Into the way In whIch It wouId perIorm a sImIIar act. CouId
a sImIIar system be at work In humansZ


MeIhodology

UsIng IunctIonaI magnetIc resonance ImagIng (IMR) we can record the actIvIty
oI the braIn whIIe peopIe perIorm actIons In the scanner. We can aIso measure
theIr braIn actIvIty whIIe they see or hear the actIons oI others. 8y comparIng the
two, we can see how regIons InvoIved In perIormIng our own actIons are
InvoIved whIIe we perceIve those oI others.


Main ResulIs

We Iound that when seeIng or hearIng someone eIse`s actIons partIcIpants
actIvate the same regIons InvoIved In executIng sImIIar acts (premotor, parIetaI
and temporaI). The actIon`s goaI Is a key aspect transIated by the system: whIIe
observIng someone eIse graspIng a gIass wIth the hand, IndIvIduaIs born
wIthout arms recruIt regIons InvoIved In theIr own way oI graspIng the gIass
theIr Ioot - whIIe observers that do have hands aIso actIvate areas specIIIcaIIy
NeuromagIng Center CronIngen 5 year AnnIversary Report 20032008
SocIaI 8raIn Lab
CroupIeader: Prof.dr. C.M. Keysers
controIIIng the hand. We show that the sIght oI an IndustrIaI robot aIso actIvates
the same cIrcuIt suggestIng why robots In Star Wars are so engagIng. SharIng
goaIs provIdes a tooI Ior InterpretIng the behavIor oI organIsms even II theIr
bodIes dIIIer Irom ours. AIthough every partIcIpant shared observed acts, more
empathIc IndIvIduaIs actIvated thIs system more strongIy. A sImIIar system
seems to exIst aIso Ior sensatIon and emotIon.


luIure ProspecIs

How does our braIn recruIt our own actIons whIIe vIewIng or hearIng those oI
othersZ Do sImIIar systems account Ior our understandIng oI emotIons and
sensatIonsZ CouId deIIcIts In these systems account Ior some psychIatrIc
dIsordersZ



FIgure 1: The IocatIon oI the mIrror system In humans can be determIned by
overIappIng the actIovatIons durIng actIon observatIon and actIon executIon.



NeuromagIng Center CronIngen 5 year AnnIversary Report 20032008
SocIaI 8raIn Lab
CroupIeader: Prof.dr. C.M. Keysers



Oral Communications

CazzoIa, V., Keysers, C., WIcker, 8., FogassI, L., CaIIese, V. (2003) Annual
Meeting of the Society for Cognitive Neuroscience, New York. was
awarded a traveI grant to oraIIy present our IIndIngs.

Keysers, C., CazzoIa V. (2004) From mIrror neurons to socIaI perceptIon.
Understanding emotions: insights into emotion, communication and the
brain. Cermany.

Keysers, C., CazzoIa V. (2004) From mIrror neurons to nonverbaI
communIcatIon. Analog Communication Workshop. AustrIa.

CazzoIa V (2005) The neuraI correIates oI actIons, sensatIons and emotIons. The
chIId study center, YaIe UnIversIty, New Haven, ConnectIcut.

CazzoIa V (2005) From actIons to emotIons. Ahmanson LoveIace 8raIn MappIng
Center,
DavId CeIIen SchooI oI MedIcIne, UCLA, Los AngeIes, CA.

CazzoIa V (2005) ActIons, sensatIons and emotIons: how can we share themZ
RIchard Andersen Lab, CaItech, Pasadena, CA

CazzoIa V (2007) Empathy and the somatotopIc audItory mIrror system In
humans. Endo-Neuro-Psycho Meeting, Doorwerth, The NetherIands

Poster Presentation at lnternational Conferences

CazzoIa, V., WIcker, 8., Keysers, C., FogassI, L., CaIIese, V. (2003) A touchIng
sIght: what does your Ieg do In my SZ Human 8raIn MappIng ConIerence, New
York, NY. http:JJ208.164.121.55Jhbm2003JabstractJabstract403.htm

CazzoIa, V.; WIcker, 8.; RIzzoIattI, C.; Keysers, C. (2004) The AnthropocentrIc
braIn: The human mIrror system IdentIIIes the meanIng oI an actIon, and
responds both to the sIght oI humans and robots perIormIng compIex actIons.
AnnunI MeeIng oj Ihe 5oceIy jor CognIve Neuroscence, San FrancIsco, CA.

CazzoIa V, WIcker 8, RIzzoIattI C, Keysers C. (2004) The AnthropocentrIc braIn:
The human mIrror system IdentIIIes the meanIng oI an actIon, and responds
both to the sIght oI humans and robots perIormIng compIex actIons. ndo-
neuro-sycho meeIng, NetherIands.

NeuromagIng Center CronIngen 5 year AnnIversary Report 20032008
SocIaI 8raIn Lab
CroupIeader: Prof.dr. C.M. Keysers
CazzoIa V, AzIzZadeh L, FormIsano E, Keysers C. (2005) HearIng what you are
doIng - an IMR study oI audItory empathy. AnnunI MeeIng oj Ihe 5oceIy jor
CognIve Neuroscence, New York

CazzoIa V, AzIzZadeh L, FormIsano E, Keysers C. (2005) From Sounds to
ActIons - an IMR study oI audItory empathy. Humnn rnn Mnng Conjerence,
Toronto, Canada.

CazzoIa V, MeIIert H., Keysers C. (2006) From sensatIons to emotIons - the
neuraI correIates oI tactIIe empathy. AnnunI MeeIng oj Ihe 5oceIy jor CognIve
Neuroscence, San FrancIsco, CA.

CazzoIa V, MeIIert H., Keysers C. (2006) OI touch, caresses and paIn The
neuraI correIates oI
emotIonaI tactIIe empathy. Humnn rnn Mnng Conjerence, FIorence, taIy

CazzoIa V, van der Worp H, MuIder T, WIcker 8, RIzzoIattI C, Keysers C. (2007)
OvercomIng dIIIerences In embodIment: the mIrror system and goaI matchIng.
AnnunI MeeIng oj Ihe 5oceIy jor CognIve Neuroscence, New York

CazzoIa V, CasteIII F, SpezIo M, AdoIphs R , Keysers C (2008) SocIaI ModuIatIon
oI Touch RepresentatIon. AnnunI MeeIng oj Ihe 5oceIy jor CognIve
Neuroscence, San FrancIsco, CA.

CazzoIa V, CasteIII F, SpezIo M, AdoIphs R , Keysers C (2008) SocIaI ModuIatIon
oI Touch RepresentatIon - an IMR study. Humnn rnn Mnng Conjerence,
MeIbourne, AustraIIa


PublicaIions

Keysers C., WIcker 8., CazzoIa V., FogassI L., and CaIIese V. (2004) A touchIng
sIght: SJPV actIvatIon durIng the observatIon and experIence oI touch. Neuron
42:335346.

CazzoIa V, AzIzZadeh L, Keysers C (2006) Empathy and the somatotopIc
audItory mIrror system In humans. CurrenI boIogy 16(18):18249

Keysers C and CazzoIa V (2006) Towards a unIIyIng neuraI theory oI socIaI
cognItIon. Frog rnn Res. 156:379401

Keysers C and CazzoIa V (2007) ntegratIng sImuIatIon and theory oI mInd: Irom
seII to socIaI cognItIon. Trends Cogn 5c. 11(5):1946.

CazzoIa V, RIzzoIattI C, WIcker 8, Keysers C (2007) The anthropomorphIc braIn:
the mIrror neuron system responds to human and robotIc actIons. Neuromnge
35(4):167484.

NeuromagIng Center CronIngen 5 year AnnIversary Report 20032008
SocIaI 8raIn Lab
CroupIeader: Prof.dr. C.M. Keysers
CazzoIa V, van der Worp, H, MuIder T, WIcker 8, RIzzoIattI C, Keysers, C (2007)
ApIasIcs born wIthout hands mIrror the goaI oI hand actIons wIth theIr Ieet.
CurrenI oIogy 17(14):123540

ThIoux M, CazzoIa V, Keysers C (2008) ActIon understandIng: how, what and
why. Curr oI 18, R431434.

Keysers C., CazzoIa V. (In press) Towards a unIIyIng neuraI theory oI socIaI
cognItIon. n: Vennn 5eres n TheoreIcnI oIogy. MT press.

CazzoIa V, Keysers C (under revIsIon) The observatIon and executIon oI actIons
share motor and somatosensory voxeIs In aII tested subjects: sIngIe subject
anaIyses oI unsmoothed IMR data. CerebrnI CorIex.

CerIIanI L, NanettI L, CazzoIa V, Keysers C (In prep) ProbabIIIstIc DIIIusIon
Tensor magIng reveaIs two cIusters wIth dIstInct connectIvIty In the human
InsuIa.

NanettI L, CerIIanI L, CazzoIa V, Renken R, Keysers C (submItted) How crIsp Is
thIs borderZ Croup anaIyses oI connectIvItybased cortIcaI parceIIatIon usIng
repeated kmeans cIusterIng. NeuroImnge

CazzoIa V, CasteIII F, SpezIo M, AdoIphs R, Keysers C (In prep) The neuraI basIs
oI the eIIect oI socIaI vaIence on tactIIe stImuIatIon.

CazzoIa V, MeIIert H, Keysers C (In prep) The eIIect oI vaIence on the mIrrorIng
oI tactIIe stImuIatIon

CazzoIa V, Degenaar ], van der Caag, C, Keysers C (In prep) EIIects oI seIectIve
habItuatIon on the processIng oI dynamIc IacIaI expressIons In the InsuIa.