Modulation of putative mirror neuron activity by both positively and negatively valenced affective stimuli: a TMS study

Hill, Aron T., Fitzgibbon, Bernadette M., Arnold, Sara L., Rinehart, Nicole J., Fitzgerald, Paul B. and Enticott, Peter G. 2013, Modulation of putative mirror neuron activity by both positively and negatively valenced affective stimuli: a TMS study, Behavioural brain research, vol. 249, pp. 116-123, doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2013.04.027.

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Title Modulation of putative mirror neuron activity by both positively and negatively valenced affective stimuli: a TMS study
Author(s) Hill, Aron T.
Fitzgibbon, Bernadette M.
Arnold, Sara L.
Rinehart, Nicole J.ORCID iD for Rinehart, Nicole J. orcid.org/0000-0001-6109-3958
Fitzgerald, Paul B.
Enticott, Peter G.ORCID iD for Enticott, Peter G. orcid.org/0000-0002-6638-951X
Journal name Behavioural brain research
Volume number 249
Start page 116
End page 123
Total pages 8
Publisher Elsevier BV
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publication date 2013-07
ISSN 0166-4328
1872-7549
Keyword(s) electomyography
emotion processing
mirror neurons
social cognition
transcranial magnetic stimulation
Summary Research indicates that mirror neurons are important for social cognition, including emotion processing. Emerging evidence, however, also reveals that emotional stimuli might be capable of modulating human mirror neuron system (MNS) activity.

The current study used transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to assess putative mirror neuron function following emotionally evocative images in twenty healthy adults.

Participants observed videos of either a transitive hand action or a static hand while undergoing TMS of the primary motor cortex. In order to examine the effect of emotion on the MNS, each video was preceded by an image of either a positive, negative or neutral valence.

MNS activity was found to be augmented by both the positive and negative (relative to neutral) stimuli, thus providing empirical support for a bi-directional link between emotion and the MNS, whereby both positively and negatively valenced stimuli are capable of facilitating mirror neuron activity. The potential adaptive significance of this finding is discussed. 
Language eng
DOI 10.1016/j.bbr.2013.04.027
Field of Research 110903 Central Nervous System
Socio Economic Objective 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
HERDC collection year 2013
Copyright notice ©2013, Elsevier
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30056250

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Psychology
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