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Multiple representation of actions in the frontal lobe

Observation of actions performed by others activates monkey ventral premotor cortex, where action meaning, but not object identity, is coded. In a functional MRI (fMRI) study, we investigated whether other monkey frontal areas respond to actions performed by others.

Observation of a hand grasping objects activated four frontal areas: rostral F5 and areas 45B, 45A, and 46. Observation of an individual grasping an object also activated caudal F5, which indicates different degrees of action abstraction in F5. Observation of shapes activated area 45, but not premotor F5. Convergence of object and action information in area 45 may be important for full comprehension of actions.

These data have been published on Science, 2005, 310: 332-336.

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