Oscillatory entrainment of neural activity between inferior frontoparietal cortices alters imitation performance

Naoyuki Takeuchi, Yoshino Terui, Shin Ichi Izumi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The frontoparietal mirror network is activated when an individual performs a goal-directed action and observes another person's intentional action. It has been speculated that the distinct frontal and parietal regions might work together to participate in the imitation process, which translates an observed movement into an identical action. We aimed to determine the relationship between the frontoparietal mirror network and imitation by applying transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) to exogenously modulate oscillatory neural activity in the left inferior frontal gyrus and the left inferior parietal lobule. In total, 45 young adults participated in this study. The participants were randomly assigned to the three tACS groups (synchronous, desynchronous, and sham; 55 Hz enveloped by 6 Hz). Before and during tACS, the participants performed the gesture matching task and the gesture imitation task. Application of synchronous tACS over the left frontoparietal cortices significantly improved the performance of gesture matching and the meaningless gesture imitation relative to the baseline performance. Desynchronous tACS deteriorated the gesture matching performance relative to the baseline results. The oscillatory entrainment of neural activity between components of the frontoparietal mirror network is considered to alter imitation performance by modulating neural information relating to the goals of actions in the frontal cortex and the means of observed actions in the parietal cortex. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study that reveals that the rhythmic communication between components of the frontoparietal mirror network has a functional role in imitation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107702
JournalNeuropsychologia
Volume150
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jan 8

Keywords

  • Frontoparietal mirror network
  • Imitation
  • Mirror neuron system
  • Neural communication
  • Transcranial alternating current stimulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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