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  Motor cortex activity during action observation predicts subsequent action imitation in human infants

Köster, M., Langeloh, M., Kliesch, C., Kanngiesser, P., & Hoehl, S. (2020). Motor cortex activity during action observation predicts subsequent action imitation in human infants. NeuroImage, 218: 116958. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2020.116958.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0006-EDE2-0 Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0006-F3BB-5
Genre: Journal Article

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 Creators:
Köster, Moritz1, 2, 3, Author              
Langeloh, Miriam1, 4, Author              
Kliesch, Christian1, 5, Author
Kanngiesser, Patricia2, 6, Author
Hoehl, Stefanie1, 7, Author              
Affiliations:
1Max Planck Research Group Early Social Cognition, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_2355694              
2Department of Education and Psychology, FU Berlin, Germany, ou_persistent22              
3Department of Psychology, Graduate School of Letters, Kyoto University, Japan, ou_persistent22              
4Department of Psychology, University of Heidelberg, Germany, ou_persistent22              
5Department of Psychology, Lancaster University, United Kingdom, ou_persistent22              
6Institute of Educational Sciences, University of Leipzig, Germany, ou_persistent22              
7Faculty of Psychology, University Vienna, Austria, ou_persistent22              

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 Abstract: From early on, human infants acquire novel actions through observation and imitation. Yet, the neural mechanisms that underlie infants’ action learning are not well understood. Here, we combine the assessment of infants’ neural processes during the observation of novel actions on objects (i.e. transitive actions) and their subsequent imitation of those actions. Most importantly, we found that the 7–10 ​Hz motor cortex activity increased during action observation and predicted action imitation in 20-month-olds (n ​= ​36). 10-month-olds (n ​= ​42), who did not yet reliably imitate others’ actions, showed a highly similar neural activity pattern during action observation. The presence or absence of communicative signals did neither affect infants’ neural processing nor their subsequent imitation behavior. These findings provide first evidence for neural processes in the motor cortex that allow infants to acquire transitive actions from others ‒ and pinpoint a key learning mechanism in the developing brain of human infants.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2020-04-182020-02-252020-05-142020-05-202020-09
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
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 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: -
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2020.116958
Other: epub 2020
PMID: 32442641
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Grant ID : 89 611-2
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Funding organization : Volkswagen Foundation

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Title: NeuroImage
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Orlando, FL : Academic Press
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 218 Sequence Number: 116958 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 1053-8119
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954922650166