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Emotion processing fails to modulate putative mirror neuron response to trained visuomotor associations

Fitzgibbon, Bernadette M., Kirkovski, Melissa, Fornito, Alex, Paton, Bryan, Fitzgerald, Paul B. and Enticott, Peter G. 2016, Emotion processing fails to modulate putative mirror neuron response to trained visuomotor associations, Neuropsychologia, vol. 84, pp. 7-13, doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2016.01.033.

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Title Emotion processing fails to modulate putative mirror neuron response to trained visuomotor associations
Author(s) Fitzgibbon, Bernadette M.
Kirkovski, MelissaORCID iD for Kirkovski, Melissa orcid.org/0000-0003-3395-8525
Fornito, Alex
Paton, Bryan
Fitzgerald, Paul B.
Enticott, Peter G.ORCID iD for Enticott, Peter G. orcid.org/0000-0002-6638-951X
Journal name Neuropsychologia
Volume number 84
Start page 7
End page 13
Total pages 7
Publisher Elsevier
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publication date 2016-04
ISSN 0028-3932
1873-3514
Summary Recent neuroimaging studies have demonstrated that activation of the putative human mirror neuron system (MNS) can be elicited via visuomotor training. This is generally interpreted as supporting an associative learning account of the mirror neuron system (MNS) that argues against the ontogeny of the MNS to be an evolutionary adaptation for social cognition. The current study assessed whether a central component of social cognition, emotion processing, would influence the MNS activity to trained visuomotor associations, which could support a broader role of the MNS in social cognition. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we assessed repetition suppression to the presentation of stimulus pairs involving a simple hand action and a geometric shape that was either congruent or incongruent with earlier association training. Each pair was preceded by an image of positive, negative, or neutral emotionality. In support of an associative learning account of the MNS, repetition suppression was greater for trained pairs compared with untrained pairs in several regions, primarily supplementary motor area (SMA) and right inferior frontal gyrus (rIFG). This response, however, was not modulated by the valence of the emotional images. These findings argue against a fundamental role of emotion processing in the mirror neuron response, and are inconsistent with theoretical accounts linking mirror neurons to social cognition.
Language eng
DOI 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2016.01.033
Field of Research 170101 Biological Psychology (Neuropsychology, Psychopharmacology, Physiological Psychology)
110903 Central Nervous System
1109 Neurosciences
1701 Psychology
1702 Cognitive Science
170101 Biological Psychology (Neuropsychology, Psychopharmacology, Physiological Psychology)
110903 Central Nervous System
Socio Economic Objective 929999 Health not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, Elsevier
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30081486

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Psychology
Centre for Mental Health and Wellbeing Research
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