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      Action Representation of Sound: Audiomotor Recognition Network While Listening to Newly Acquired Actions

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          Abstract

          The discovery of audiovisual mirror neurons in monkeys gave rise to the hypothesis that premotor areas are inherently involved not only when observing actions but also when listening to action-related sound. However, the whole-brain functional formation underlying such “action–listening” is not fully understood. In addition, previous studies in humans have focused mostly on relatively simple and overexperienced everyday actions, such as hand clapping or door knocking. Here we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to ask whether the human action-recognition system responds to sounds found in a more complex sequence of newly acquired actions. To address this, we chose a piece of music as a model set of acoustically presentable actions and trained non-musicians to play it by ear. We then monitored brain activity in subjects while they listened to the newly acquired piece. Although subjects listened to the music without performing any movements, activation was found bilaterally in the frontoparietal motor-related network (including Broca's area, the premotor region, the intraparietal sulcus, and the inferior parietal region), consistent with neural circuits that have been associated with action observations, and may constitute the human mirror neuron system. Presentation of the practiced notes in a different order activated the network to a much lesser degree, whereas listening to an equally familiar but motorically unknown music did not activate this network. These findings support the hypothesis of a “hearing–doing” system that is highly dependent on the individual's motor repertoire, gets established rapidly, and consists of Broca's area as its hub.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          J Neurosci
          J. Neurosci
          jneurosci
          J. Neurosci
          The Journal of Neuroscience
          Society for Neuroscience
          0270-6474
          1529-2401
          10 January 2007
          : 27
          : 2
          : 308-314
          Affiliations
          [1] 1Department of Neurology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02215,
          [2] 2Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts 02215, and
          [3] 3Haskins Laboratories, New Haven, Connecticut 06511
          Author notes
          Correspondence should be addressed to Amir Lahav, Department of Neurology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, 330 Brookline Avenue, Boston, MA 02215. alahav@ 123456bidmc.harvard.edu
          Article
          PMC6672064 PMC6672064 6672064 3180138
          10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4822-06.2007
          6672064
          17215391
          a20a820e-e08e-4110-a778-233f6e981b27
          Copyright © 2007 Society for Neuroscience 0270-6474/07/270308-07$15.00/0
          History
          : 15 September 2006
          : 27 November 2006
          Categories
          Articles
          Behavioral/Systems/Cognitive
          Custom metadata

          sensorimotor,premotor,fMRI,auditory,mirror neuron system,Broca's area

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