The neural mechanisms of reciprocal communication

Emese Nagy, Mario Liotti, Steven Brown, Gordon Waiter, Andrew Bromiley, Colwyn Trevarthen, G. Bárdos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Imitation in humans has been attributed to increased activation of the mirror neuron system, but there is no neural model to explain reciprocal communication. In this study, we investigated whether reciprocal, communicative, imitative exchanges activate the same neural system as imitation of simple movements, and whether the neural network subserving communication is lateralized. Fifteen participants were tested using functional magnetic resonance imaging with an online interactive-imitative paradigm while they performed finger movements for three different purposes: (1) to imitate the experimenter, (2) to elicit an imitation from the experimenter, and (3) to simply perform the movement. Subtraction analysis (imitation > movement, initiation > movement) revealed the activation of a strongly lateralized network, where the infra-parietal lobule (IPL) activation was lateralized to the left, while the infero-frontal gyrus (IFG) activation was to the right. It is concluded that imitation in a communicative paradigm recruits a lateralized network, with left fronto- and right parietal activation, that overlaps with a network that subserves understanding of an Other's intentions in relation to the Self. This finding lends plausibility to the suggestion that the neural network for imitation evolved to support interpersonal communication.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-167
Number of pages9
JournalBrain Research
Volume1353
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 24 2010

Fingerprint

Communication
Mirror Neurons
Parietal Lobe
Ego
Fingers
Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Keywords

  • Functional magnetic resonance imaging
  • Imitation
  • Infero-frontal gyrus
  • Infra-parietal lobule
  • Mirror neuron system
  • Reciprocal communication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Molecular Biology

Cite this

Nagy, E., Liotti, M., Brown, S., Waiter, G., Bromiley, A., Trevarthen, C., & Bárdos, G. (2010). The neural mechanisms of reciprocal communication. Brain Research, 1353, 159-167. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brainres.2010.07.066

The neural mechanisms of reciprocal communication. / Nagy, Emese; Liotti, Mario; Brown, Steven; Waiter, Gordon; Bromiley, Andrew; Trevarthen, Colwyn; Bárdos, G.

In: Brain Research, Vol. 1353, 24.09.2010, p. 159-167.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Nagy, E, Liotti, M, Brown, S, Waiter, G, Bromiley, A, Trevarthen, C & Bárdos, G 2010, 'The neural mechanisms of reciprocal communication', Brain Research, vol. 1353, pp. 159-167. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brainres.2010.07.066
Nagy E, Liotti M, Brown S, Waiter G, Bromiley A, Trevarthen C et al. The neural mechanisms of reciprocal communication. Brain Research. 2010 Sep 24;1353:159-167. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brainres.2010.07.066
Nagy, Emese ; Liotti, Mario ; Brown, Steven ; Waiter, Gordon ; Bromiley, Andrew ; Trevarthen, Colwyn ; Bárdos, G. / The neural mechanisms of reciprocal communication. In: Brain Research. 2010 ; Vol. 1353. pp. 159-167.
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