The Dual-Loop Model and the Human Mirror Neuron System: an Exploratory Combined fMRI and DTI Study of the Inferior Frontal Gyrus

Farsin Hamzei, Magnus-Sebastian Vry, Dorothee Saur, Volkmar Glauche, Markus Hoeren, Irina Mader, Cornelius Weiller, Michel Rijntjes
2015 Cerebral Cortex  
The inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) is active during both goal-directed action and while observing the same motor act, leading to the idea that also the meaning of a motor act (action understanding) is represented in this "mirror neuron system" (MNS). However, in the dual-loop model, based on dorsal and ventral visual streams, the MNS is thought to be a function of the dorsal steam, projecting to pars opercularis (BA44) of IFG, while recent studies suggest that conceptual meaning and semantic
more » ... sis are a function of ventral connections, projecting mainly to pars triangularis (BA45) of IFG. To resolve this discrepancy, we investigated action observation (AO) and imitation (IMI) using fMRI in a large group of subjects. A grasping task (GR) assessed the contribution from movement without AO. We analyzed connections of the MNS-related areas within IFG with postrolandic areas with the use of activation-based DTI. We found that action observation with imitation are mainly a function of the dorsal stream centered on dorsal part of BA44, but also involve BA45, which is dorsally and ventrally connected to the same postrolandic regions. The current finding suggests that BA45 is the crucial part where the MNS and the dual-loop system interact.
doi:10.1093/cercor/bhv066 pmid:25828568 fatcat:qty6g47muzbj5om56upeobcnsy