Distinguishing between self and other how shared are shared representations marcel brass
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Distinguishing between self and other: How shared are shared representations? Marcel Brass. MAX PLANCK INSTITUTE. FOR HUMAN COGNITIVE AND BRAIN SCIENCES DEPARTMENT OF COGNITIVE NEUROLOGY LEIPZIG. Cognitive psychology

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Distinguishing between self and other: How shared are shared representations? Marcel Brass

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Distinguishing between self and other: How shared are shared representations?Marcel Brass

MAX

PLANCK

INSTITUTE

  • FOR

  • HUMAN

  • COGNITIVE AND BRAIN SCIENCES

  • DEPARTMENT OF COGNITIVE NEUROLOGY

  • LEIPZIG


Cognitive psychology

movement observation has a strong influence on movement execution (Brass et al., 2000, 2001, Stuermer et al., 2000)

Social psychology

chameleon effect (Chartrand & Bargh, 1999)

Brain imaging

activation of motor related areas by action observation (e.g. Grezes & Decety, 1999)

Neurophysiology

mirror neurons (e.g. Rizzolatti & Craighero, 2004)

Observation and execution of action are closely linked


The direct matching hypothesis

Action observation leads to an activation of an internal motor representation.


Why don‘t we imitate all the time?

Why don‘t we confuse internally generated and externally triggered motor representations?

Open questions


Luria (1966)

prefrontal patients show echopractic response tendencies

Lhermitte et al. (1986), DeRenzi et al. (1996)

patients with prefrontal lesions show overt imitative behavior

Neuropsychological findings


incongruent

congruent

baseline

The imitation-inhibition task

Brass et al. (2000)


The imitation-inhibition task

Lift the index finger when a `1` appears

and the middle finger when a `2` appears.

+

+

Brass et al. (2000)


con

base

incon

Results

Brass et al. (2000)


Patients

  • 16 patients with frontal lesions of different etiology and lesion site

  • 14 patients with posterior lesions (temporal, parietal)

  • 16 age-matched controls


Imitation-inhibition task

*

*

posterior

control

frontal

Results

interference score: incongruent errors (%) – congruent errors (%)

Brass et al. (2003)


Conclusions

  • Patients with frontal lesions have problems to inhibit imitative response tendencies.


Functional mechanisms involved in the inhibition of imitative behavior

  • Hypothesis

    • The inhibition of imitative behavior involves general inhibitory mechanisms.

    • The inhibition of imitative behavior involves specific mechanisms related to the distinction of self-generated and externally triggered motor representations.


ten healthy right handed participants

the imitation-inhibition task

functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI)

Experimental design


1

2

1

2

anterior fronto-median cortex (aFMC)

temporo-parietal junction area (TPJ)

Imitation-inhibition task

Incongruent vs. congruent

Brass, Derrfuss & von Cramon(2005)


The functional role of the anterior fronto-median cortex and the TPJ

  • sense of agency (e.g. Farrer et al., 2003)

  • perspective taking (Ruby & Decety, 2001, 2003)

  • out of body experience (Blanke et al., 2002)


Conclusions

  • The inhibition of imitative behaviour seems to involve mechanisms related to self-other distinction.


Are environmental constraints mapped onto the observer’s motor representation?

The mirroring of contextual information


Observing a physical restraint in another person should restrain the observer.

Prediction


Paradigm

non-corresponding restraint

corresponding restraint

no restraint


Demonstration


Results


The slowing effect is due to higher perceptual difficulty in the corresponding restraint condition.

Alternative hypothesis


Test

Stimuli

no restraint

corresponding restraint

Responses

if a ‘1‘ appears

if a ‘2‘ appears


Results


There is an automatic tendency to imitate observed behaviour.

Prefrontal patients have problems to inhibit imitative response tendencies.

The inhibition of imitative behaviour involves functional mechanisms related to self-other distinction.

Not only the action itself is mapped onto the observer’s motor representation but also environmental constraints.

Summary


Roman LiepeltStephanie SpenglerMichael SteinbornHarold BekkeringJan DerrfussWolfgang PrinzD. Yves von Cramon


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