Prefrontal cortex is crucial for exploiting contextual information for the planning and guidance of behavioral responses. Among contextual cues, those provided by others' behavior are particularly important, in primates, for selecting appropriate reactions and suppressing the inappropriate ones. These latter functions deeply rely on the ability to understand others' actions. However, it is largely unknown whether prefrontal neurons are activated by action observation. To address this issue, we recorded the activity of ventrolateral prefrontal (VLPF) neurons of macaque monkeys during the observation of videos depicting biological movements performed by a monkey or a human agent, and object motion. Our results show that a population of VLPF neurons respond to the observation of biological movements, in particular those representing goal directed actions. Many of these neurons also show a preference for the agent performing the action. The neural response is present also when part of the observed movement is obscured, suggesting that these VLPF neurons code a high order representation of the observed action rather than a simple visual description of it.

Action observation activates neurons of the monkey ventrolateral prefrontal cortex / Simone, Luciano; Bimbi, Marco; Roda', Francesca; Fogassi, Leonardo; Rozzi, Stefano. - In: SCIENTIFIC REPORTS. - ISSN 2045-2322. - 7:(2017), p. 44378. [10.1038/srep44378]

Action observation activates neurons of the monkey ventrolateral prefrontal cortex

SIMONE, Luciano;BIMBI, Marco;RODA', Francesca;FOGASSI, Leonardo;ROZZI, Stefano
2017

Abstract

Prefrontal cortex is crucial for exploiting contextual information for the planning and guidance of behavioral responses. Among contextual cues, those provided by others' behavior are particularly important, in primates, for selecting appropriate reactions and suppressing the inappropriate ones. These latter functions deeply rely on the ability to understand others' actions. However, it is largely unknown whether prefrontal neurons are activated by action observation. To address this issue, we recorded the activity of ventrolateral prefrontal (VLPF) neurons of macaque monkeys during the observation of videos depicting biological movements performed by a monkey or a human agent, and object motion. Our results show that a population of VLPF neurons respond to the observation of biological movements, in particular those representing goal directed actions. Many of these neurons also show a preference for the agent performing the action. The neural response is present also when part of the observed movement is obscured, suggesting that these VLPF neurons code a high order representation of the observed action rather than a simple visual description of it.
Action observation activates neurons of the monkey ventrolateral prefrontal cortex / Simone, Luciano; Bimbi, Marco; Roda', Francesca; Fogassi, Leonardo; Rozzi, Stefano. - In: SCIENTIFIC REPORTS. - ISSN 2045-2322. - 7:(2017), p. 44378. [10.1038/srep44378]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11381/2822868
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