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Exploring associations between gaze patterns and putative human mirror neuron system activity

Donaldson, Peter H., Gurvich, Caroline, Fielding, Joanne and Enticott, Peter G. 2015, Exploring associations between gaze patterns and putative human mirror neuron system activity, Frontiers in human neuroscience, vol. 9, no. 396, pp. 1-10, doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2015.00396.

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Title Exploring associations between gaze patterns and putative human mirror neuron system activity
Author(s) Donaldson, Peter H.
Gurvich, Caroline
Fielding, Joanne
Enticott, Peter G.ORCID iD for Enticott, Peter G. orcid.org/0000-0002-6638-951X
Journal name Frontiers in human neuroscience
Volume number 9
Issue number 396
Start page 1
End page 10
Total pages 10
Publisher Frontiers Media
Place of publication Lausanne, Switzerland
Publication date 2015
ISSN 1662-5161
Keyword(s) autism
gaze pattern
mirror neurons
motor resonance
predictive gaze
transcranial magnetic stimulation
Summary The human mirror neuron system (MNS) is hypothesized to be crucial to social cognition. Given that key MNS-input regions such as the superior temporal sulcus are involved in biological motion processing, and mirror neuron activity in monkeys has been shown to vary with visual attention, aberrant MNS function may be partly attributable to atypical visual input. To examine the relationship between gaze pattern and interpersonal motor resonance (IMR; an index of putative MNS activity), healthy right-handed participants aged 18-40 (n = 26) viewed videos of transitive grasping actions or static hands, whilst the left primary motor cortex received transcranial magnetic stimulation. Motor-evoked potentials recorded in contralateral hand muscles were used to determine IMR. Participants also underwent eyetracking analysis to assess gaze patterns whilst viewing the same videos. No relationship was observed between predictive gaze and IMR. However, IMR was positively associated with fixation counts in areas of biological motion in the videos, and negatively associated with object areas. These findings are discussed with reference to visual influences on the MNS, and the possibility that MNS atypicalities might be influenced by visual processes such as aberrant gaze pattern.
Language eng
DOI 10.3389/fnhum.2015.00396
Field of Research 170101 Biological Psychology (Neuropsychology, Psychopharmacology, Physiological Psychology)
Socio Economic Objective 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2015, Frontiers Media
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30074900

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Psychology
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.