Neural substrates involved in imitating finger configurations: an fMRI study

Neuroreport. 2001 May 8;12(6):1171-4. doi: 10.1097/00001756-200105080-00024.


Imitation plays a very important role in human cognition. Because previous neuroimaging studies on human imitation used rather simple actions as target stimuli, some aspects of imitation such as perceiving target actions or manipulating one's own mental image could not be studied. We used complicated non-symbolic (S-) and symbolic (S+) finger configurations as target stimuli in order to study the neural substrates involved in the perception of target actions and mental image manipulation during imitation. Bilateral supramarginal gyrus activation was detected when the S- condition was compared with the S+ condition. Our result suggests the involvement of the supramarginal gyrus especially for the imitation of novel actions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping / methods*
  • Female
  • Fingers / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Imitative Behavior / physiology*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Male
  • Movement / physiology*
  • Photic Stimulation / methods*
  • Sign Language