Article

Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Over the Left Posterior Middle Temporal Gyrus Reduces Wrist Velocity During Emblematic Hand Gesture Imitation

Details

Citation

Reader AT & Holmes NP (2019) Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Over the Left Posterior Middle Temporal Gyrus Reduces Wrist Velocity During Emblematic Hand Gesture Imitation. Brain Topography, 32 (2), pp. 332-341. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10548-018-0684-1

Abstract
Results from neuropsychological studies, and neuroimaging and behavioural experiments with healthy individuals, suggest that the imitation of meaningful and meaningless actions may be reliant on different processing routes. The left posterior middle temporal gyrus (pMTG) is one area that might be important for the recognition and imitation of meaningful actions. We studied the role of the left pMTG in imitation using repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) and two-person motion-tracking. Participants imitated meaningless and emblematic meaningful hand and finger gestures performed by a confederate actor whilst both individuals were motion-tracked. rTMS was applied during action observation (before imitation) over the left pMTG or a vertex control site. Since meaningless action imitation has been previously associated with a greater wrist velocity and longer correction period at the end of the movement, we hypothesised that stimulation over the left pMTG would increase wrist velocity and extend the correction period of meaningful actions (i.e., due to interference with action recognition). We also hypothesised that imitator accuracy (actor-imitator correspondence) would be reduced following stimulation over the left pMTG. Contrary to our hypothesis, we found that stimulation over the pMTG, but not the vertex, during action observation reduced wrist velocity when participants later imitated meaningful, but not meaningless, hand gestures. These results provide causal evidence for a role of the left pMTG in the imitation of meaningful gestures, and may also be in keeping with proposals that left posterior temporal regions play a role in the production of postural components of gesture.

Keywords
Action recognition; Apraxia; Dual-route; Kinematics; Semantic storage; Two-person

Journal
Brain Topography: Volume 32, Issue 2

StatusPublished
FundersEconomic and Social Research Council
Publication date31/03/2019
Publication date online08/11/2018
Date accepted by journal26/10/2018
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/31431
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media LLC
ISSN0896-0267
eISSN1573-6792

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Dr Arran Reader
Dr Arran Reader

Lecturer in Psychology, Psychology