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EEG Correlates of Action Observation in Humans

Abstract

To investigate electrophysiological correlates of action observation electroencephalogram (EEG) was recorded while participants observed repetitive biological (human) or non-biological movements (at a rate of 2 Hz). Steady-state evoked potentials were analyzed and their neural sources were investigated using low resolution electromagnetic tomography analysis (LORETA). Results revealed significantly higher activation in the primary motor and premotor cortex, supplementary motor area as well as the posterior parietal cortices during observation of biological movements, supporting mirror properties of cortical motor neurons. In addition interregional communication was analyzed. Increased coherence for distributed networks at delta (0.5–4 Hz) and lower alpha (8–10 Hz) frequencies were obtained suggesting integration and functional coupling between the activated cortical regions during human action observation.

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Correspondence to Paul Sauseng.

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Holz, E.M., Doppelmayr, M., Klimesch, W. et al. EEG Correlates of Action Observation in Humans. Brain Topogr 21, 93–99 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10548-008-0066-1

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Keywords

  • Alpha
  • Coherence
  • Delta
  • LORETA
  • Mirror neuron system
  • Oscillations