The role of the right temporoparietal junction in the control of imitation.
Bottom Line: Brain imaging studies have implicated the right temporoparietal junction (rTPJ) in this ability, but causal evidence for its role is lacking.Neuronavigated repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation was used to target the rTPJ (and a control mid-occipital site) during a task requiring participants to switch between representations of others' actions on both a social and a nonsocial level, by manipulating imitative and spatial compatibility simultaneously and independently.This suggests that the rTPJ is involved in switching between self and other representations, and further, that this process may not be entirely domain general.
Affiliation: Department of Psychology, University of Surrey, Guildford GU2 7XH, UK.Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus
Mentions: Crucially, there was a significant interaction of site by imitative compatibility; F1,15 = 5.10, P = 0.039, η2 = 0.25 and no significant interaction of site by spatial compatibility; F1,15 < 1, P = 0.647, η2 = 0.01. No other main effects or interactions reached significance (all P > 0.05). Figure 2 shows the spatial compatibility and imitative compatibility effects for both rTPJ and MO stimulation sites, indicating a similar spatial compatibility effect across both stimulation sites, but a larger imitative compatibility effect during stimulation to the rTPJ than the control MO site. Therefore, rTMS to the rTPJ impaired participants' ability to control the tendency to imitate, but not their ability to control spatial response tendencies.Figure 2.
Affiliation: Department of Psychology, University of Surrey, Guildford GU2 7XH, UK.