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Neural correlates of individual differences in manual imitation fidelity.

Braadbaart L, Waiter GD, Williams JH - Front Integr Neurosci (2012)

Bottom Line: We hypothesized that imitative ability would predict variation in BOLD signal whilst performing a simple imitation task in the MRI-scanner.Participants lying in the MRI-scanner were instructed to imitate different grips on a handle, or to watch someone or a circle moving the handle.We suggest that this variance differentially reflects cognitive functions such as feedback-sensitivity and reward-dependent learning, contributing significantly to variability in individuals' imitative abilities as characterized by objective kinematic measures.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Psychology, University of Aberdeen Aberdeen, UK.

ABSTRACT
Imitation is crucial for social learning, and so it is important to identify what determines between-subject variability in imitation fidelity. This might help explain what makes some people, like those with social difficulties such as in autism spectrum disorder (ASD), significantly worse at performance on these tasks than others. A novel paradigm was developed to provide objective measures of imitation fidelity in which participants used a touchscreen to imitate videos of a model drawing different shapes. Comparisons between model and participants' kinematic data provided three measures of imitative fidelity. We hypothesized that imitative ability would predict variation in BOLD signal whilst performing a simple imitation task in the MRI-scanner. In particular, an overall measure of accuracy (correlation between model and imitator) would predict activity in the overarching imitation system, whereas bias would be subject to more general aspects of motor control. Participants lying in the MRI-scanner were instructed to imitate different grips on a handle, or to watch someone or a circle moving the handle. Our hypothesis was partly confirmed as correlation between model and imitator was mediated by somatosensory cortex but also ventromedial prefrontal cortex, and bias was mediated mainly by cerebellum but also by the medial frontal and parietal cortices and insula. We suggest that this variance differentially reflects cognitive functions such as feedback-sensitivity and reward-dependent learning, contributing significantly to variability in individuals' imitative abilities as characterized by objective kinematic measures.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Video stills of Rest (A) and Move/Watch (B) stimuli.
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Figure 1: Video stills of Rest (A) and Move/Watch (B) stimuli.

Mentions: Participants were asked to lie in the scanner with a handle by their right side. On a screen they were presented with three conditions using Presentation (version 14). In the first condition, “Rest”, participants were shown a video of the handle moving by itself, with a yellow circle moving with it. In the second condition, “Move”, they were presented with short video clips of a person manipulating the handle and were instructed to imitate these manipulations as they were being shown (see Figure 1). For example, when the participant saw the hand on screen push the handle with only one finger, the participant simultaneously performed the same action. The third condition, “Watch”, showed the same handle manipulations, but this time participants were instructed to observe without moving. Each condition lasted approximately 30 s, consisting of a 5-s instruction screen and six 4-s videos. The three conditions were repeated six times, with a total run-time of 9.5 min. Videos were presented in a pseudo-random order, which was the same for each participant. EEG data was collected simultaneously inside the scanner, to be reported elsewhere.


Neural correlates of individual differences in manual imitation fidelity.

Braadbaart L, Waiter GD, Williams JH - Front Integr Neurosci (2012)

Video stills of Rest (A) and Move/Watch (B) stimuli.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3472215&req=5

Figure 1: Video stills of Rest (A) and Move/Watch (B) stimuli.
Mentions: Participants were asked to lie in the scanner with a handle by their right side. On a screen they were presented with three conditions using Presentation (version 14). In the first condition, “Rest”, participants were shown a video of the handle moving by itself, with a yellow circle moving with it. In the second condition, “Move”, they were presented with short video clips of a person manipulating the handle and were instructed to imitate these manipulations as they were being shown (see Figure 1). For example, when the participant saw the hand on screen push the handle with only one finger, the participant simultaneously performed the same action. The third condition, “Watch”, showed the same handle manipulations, but this time participants were instructed to observe without moving. Each condition lasted approximately 30 s, consisting of a 5-s instruction screen and six 4-s videos. The three conditions were repeated six times, with a total run-time of 9.5 min. Videos were presented in a pseudo-random order, which was the same for each participant. EEG data was collected simultaneously inside the scanner, to be reported elsewhere.

Bottom Line: We hypothesized that imitative ability would predict variation in BOLD signal whilst performing a simple imitation task in the MRI-scanner.Participants lying in the MRI-scanner were instructed to imitate different grips on a handle, or to watch someone or a circle moving the handle.We suggest that this variance differentially reflects cognitive functions such as feedback-sensitivity and reward-dependent learning, contributing significantly to variability in individuals' imitative abilities as characterized by objective kinematic measures.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Psychology, University of Aberdeen Aberdeen, UK.

ABSTRACT
Imitation is crucial for social learning, and so it is important to identify what determines between-subject variability in imitation fidelity. This might help explain what makes some people, like those with social difficulties such as in autism spectrum disorder (ASD), significantly worse at performance on these tasks than others. A novel paradigm was developed to provide objective measures of imitation fidelity in which participants used a touchscreen to imitate videos of a model drawing different shapes. Comparisons between model and participants' kinematic data provided three measures of imitative fidelity. We hypothesized that imitative ability would predict variation in BOLD signal whilst performing a simple imitation task in the MRI-scanner. In particular, an overall measure of accuracy (correlation between model and imitator) would predict activity in the overarching imitation system, whereas bias would be subject to more general aspects of motor control. Participants lying in the MRI-scanner were instructed to imitate different grips on a handle, or to watch someone or a circle moving the handle. Our hypothesis was partly confirmed as correlation between model and imitator was mediated by somatosensory cortex but also ventromedial prefrontal cortex, and bias was mediated mainly by cerebellum but also by the medial frontal and parietal cortices and insula. We suggest that this variance differentially reflects cognitive functions such as feedback-sensitivity and reward-dependent learning, contributing significantly to variability in individuals' imitative abilities as characterized by objective kinematic measures.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus