Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 234, Issue 12, pp 3677–3687 | Cite as

Hand-independent representation of tool-use pantomimes in the left anterior intraparietal cortex

  • Kenji Ogawa
  • Fumihito Imai
Research Article


Previous neuropsychological studies of ideomotor apraxia (IMA) indicated impairments in pantomime actions for tool use for both right and left hands following lesions of parieto-premotor cortices in the left hemisphere. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) with multi-voxel pattern analysis (MVPA), we tested the hypothesis that the left parieto-premotor cortices are involved in the storage or retrieval of hand-independent representation of tool-use actions. In the fMRI scanner, one of three kinds of tools was displayed in pictures or letters, and the participants made pantomimes of the use of these tools using the right hand for the picture stimuli or with the left hand for the letters. We then used MVPA to classify which kind of tool the subjects were pantomiming. Whole-brain searchlight analysis revealed successful decoding using the activities largely in the contralateral primary sensorimotor region, ipsilateral cerebellum, and bilateral early visual area, which may reflect differences in low-level sensorimotor components for three types of pantomimes. Furthermore, a successful cross-classification between the right and left hands was possible using the activities of the left inferior parietal lobule (IPL) near the junction of the anterior intraparietal sulcus. Our finding indicates that the left anterior intraparietal cortex plays an important role in the production of tool-use pantomimes in a hand-independent manner, and independent of stimuli modality.


fMRI Multi-voxel pattern analysis Tool use Pantomime Anterior intraparietal cortex 



This work was supported in part by a Grant-in-Aid for Exploratory Research (No. 26540059) to K.O.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyHokkaido UniversitySapporoJapan

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