Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 153, Issue 4, pp 628–636 | Cite as

Audiovisual mirror neurons and action recognition

  • C. KeysersEmail author
  • E. Kohler
  • M. A. Umiltà
  • L. Nanetti
  • L. Fogassi
  • V. GalleseEmail author


Many object-related actions can be recognized both by their sound and by their vision. Here we describe a population of neurons in the ventral premotor cortex of the monkey that discharge both when the animal performs a specific action and when it hears or sees the same action performed by another individual. These 'audiovisual mirror neurons' therefore represent actions independently of whether these actions are performed, heard or seen. The magnitude of auditory and visual responses did not differ significantly in half the neurons. A neurometric analysis revealed that based on the response of these neurons, two actions could be discriminated with 97% accuracy.


Audiovisual mirror neurons Action recognition Object-related actions Ventral premotor cortex Monkey Neurometric analysis 



The research was funded by a MIURST and an ESF Grant. E.K. was supported by a Fonds fuer Medizinische Forschung der Universitaet Zuerich fellowship, C.K. by an EU Marie-Curie Fellowship. We thank G. Rizzolatti for help and advice on all aspects of the work, G. Pavan, M. Manghi and C. Fossati for their invaluable help in computing and acoustics, S. Rozzi, M. Matelli, and G. Luppino for their anatomical advice and F. Orzi and P. Rossi for caring for the monkeys.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of NeuroscienceUniversità di ParmaParmaItaly
  2. 2.Department of MathematicsUniversità di FerraraFerraraItaly
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversità di ParmaParmaItaly

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