Visual processing of other’s actions is supported by sensorimotor brain activations. Access to sensorimotor representations may, in principle, provide the top-down signal required to bias search and selection of critical visual features. For this to happen, it is necessary that a stable one-to-one mapping exists between observed kinematics and underlying motor commands. However, due to the inherent redundancy of the human musculoskeletal system, this is hardly the case for multijoint actions where everyone has his own moving style (individual motor signature—IMS). Here, we investigated the influence of subject’s IMS on subjects’ motor excitability during the observation of an actor achieving the same goal by adopting two different IMSs. Despite a clear dissociation in kinematic and electromyographic patterns between the two actions, we found no group-level modulation of corticospinal excitability (CSE) in observers. Rather, we found a negative relationship between CSE and actor-observer IMS distance, already at the single-subject level. Thus, sensorimotor activity during action observation does not slavishly replicate the motor plan implemented by the actor, but rather reflects the distance between what is canonical according to one’s own motor template and the observed movements performed by other individuals.

Motor recruitment during action observation: Effect of interindividual differences in action strategy

Cardellicchio P.;Dolfini E.;Fadiga L.
Penultimo
;
D'Ausilio A.
Ultimo
2020

Abstract

Visual processing of other’s actions is supported by sensorimotor brain activations. Access to sensorimotor representations may, in principle, provide the top-down signal required to bias search and selection of critical visual features. For this to happen, it is necessary that a stable one-to-one mapping exists between observed kinematics and underlying motor commands. However, due to the inherent redundancy of the human musculoskeletal system, this is hardly the case for multijoint actions where everyone has his own moving style (individual motor signature—IMS). Here, we investigated the influence of subject’s IMS on subjects’ motor excitability during the observation of an actor achieving the same goal by adopting two different IMSs. Despite a clear dissociation in kinematic and electromyographic patterns between the two actions, we found no group-level modulation of corticospinal excitability (CSE) in observers. Rather, we found a negative relationship between CSE and actor-observer IMS distance, already at the single-subject level. Thus, sensorimotor activity during action observation does not slavishly replicate the motor plan implemented by the actor, but rather reflects the distance between what is canonical according to one’s own motor template and the observed movements performed by other individuals.
Hilt, P. M.; Cardellicchio, P.; Dolfini, E.; Pozzo, T.; Fadiga, L.; D'Ausilio, A.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11392/2421964
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