A human homologue of monkey F5c

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Abstract

Area F5c is a monkey premotor area housing mirror neurons which responds more strongly to grasping observation when the actor is visible than when only the actor's hand is visible. Here we used this characteristic fMRI signature of F5c in seven imaging experiments - one in macaque monkeys and six in humans - to identify the human homologue of monkey F5c. By presenting the two grasping actions (actor, hand) and varying the low level visual characteristics, we localized a putative human homologue of area F5c (phF5c) in the inferior part of precentral sulcus, bilaterally. In contrast to monkey F5c, phF5c is asymmetric, with a right-sided bias, and is activated more strongly during the observation of the later stages of grasping when the hand is close to the object. The latter characteristic might be related to the emergence, in humans, of the capacity to precisely copy motor acts performed by others, and thus imitation.

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Ferri, S., Peeters, R., Nelissen, K., Vanduffel, W., Rizzolatti, G., & Orban, G. A. (2015). A human homologue of monkey F5c. NeuroImage, 111, 251–266. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.02.033

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