1. The dorsal premotor cortex exerts a powerful and specific inhibitory effect on the ipsilateral corticofacial system: a dual-coil transcranial magnetic stimulation study.

    Experimental Brain Research 233(11):3253 (2015) PMID 26233241

    A rich pattern of connectivity is present in non-human primates between the dorsal premotor cortex (PMCd) and the motor cortex (M1). By analogy, similar connections are hypothesized in humans between the PMCd and the ipsilateral hand-related M1. However, the technical difficulty of applying tran...
  2. Online repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to the parietal operculum disrupts haptic memory for grasping.

    Human Brain Mapping 36(11):4262 (2015) PMID 26248663

    The parietal operculum (OP) contains haptic memory on the geometry of objects that is readily transferrable to the motor cortex but a causal role of OP in memory-guided grasping is only speculative. We explored this issue by using online high-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulatio...
  3. Thematic role assignment in the posterior parietal cortex: A TMS study.

    Neuropsychologia 77:223 (2015) PMID 26318240

    Verbs denote relations between entities acting a role in an event. Thematic roles are essential to the correct use of verbs and involve both semantic and syntactic aspects. We used repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) to study the involvement of three different left parietal sites...
  4. Bottom-up and top-down visuomotor responses to action observation.

    Cerebral Cortex 25(4):1032 (2015) PMID 24132640

    Action observation produces automatic "mirror" responses in the observers' motor system. However, in daily life, nonimitative actions are often required to be produced in response to others' acts, generating a conflict between automatic and voluntary responses. First, we used single-pulse transc...
  5. Motor resonance meets motor performance.

    Neuropsychologia 69:93 (2015) PMID 25619846

    The aim of the present work is to explore which of two different models better explains facilitation/interference effects when participants have to conditionally react to an observed action with a movement. The Dimensional Overlap model assumes two parallel routes, an automatic route and a rule-...
  6. Granularity within the mirror system is not informative on action perception: comment on "Grasping synergies: a motor-control approach to the mirror neuron mechanism" by D'Ausilio et al.

    Physics of Life Reviews 12:123 (2015) PMID 25637139

  7. Haptic working memory for grasping: the role of the parietal operculum.

    Cerebral Cortex 25(2):528 (2015) PMID 24046082

    We investigated how haptic information on object geometry is encoded in the parietal operculum (OP) and is used for guiding object-directed motor acts in humans. We tested the effects of conditioning single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (spTMS) applied to the left OP on corticospinal e...
  8. Sex-Specific Automatic Responses to Infant Cries: TMS Reveals Greater Excitability in Females than Males in Motor Evoked Potentials.

    Frontiers in Psychology 6:1909 (2015) PMID 26779061 PMCID PMC4703787

    Neuroimaging reveals that infant cries activate parts of the premotor cortical system. To validate this effect in a more direct way, we used event-related transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Here, we investigated the presence and the time course of modulation of motor cortex excitability in...
  9. Cortical mechanisms underlying the organization of goal-directed actions and mirror neuron-based action understanding.

    Physiological Reviews 94(2):655 (2014) PMID 24692357

    Our understanding of the functions of motor system evolved remarkably in the last 20 years. This is the consequence not only of an increase in the amount of data on this system but especially of a paradigm shift in our conceptualization of it. Motor system is not considered anymore just a "produ...
  10. The facial motor system.

    Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews 38:135 (2014) PMID 24239732

    Facial movements support a variety of functions in human behavior. They participate in automatic somatic and visceral motor programs, they are essential in producing communicative displays of affective states and they are also subject to voluntary control. The multiplicity of functions of facial...
  11. The motor system resonates to the distal goal of observed actions: testing the inverse pliers paradigm in an ecological setting.

    Experimental Brain Research 231(1):37 (2013) PMID 23949381

    Does motor mirroring in humans reflect the observed movements or the goal of the observed motor acts? Tools that dissociate the agent/object dynamics from the movements of the body parts used to operate them provide a model for testing resonance to both movements and goals. Here, we describe the...
  12. Spatiotemporal dynamics in understanding hand-object interactions.

    PNAS 110(40):15878 (2013) PMID 24043805 PMCID PMC3791766

    It is generally accepted that visual perception results from the activation of a feed-forward hierarchy of areas, leading to increasingly complex representations. Here we present evidence for a fundamental role of backward projections to the occipito-temporal region for understanding conceptual ...
  13. Early and late motor responses to action observation.

    Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience 8(6):711 (2013) PMID 22563004 PMCID PMC3739914

    Is a short visuomotor associative training sufficient to reverse the visuomotor tuning of mirror neurons in adult humans? We tested the effects of associative training on corticospinal modulation during action observation in the 100-320 ms interval after action onset. In two separate experiments...
  14. Whole-brain haemodynamic after-effects of 1-Hz magnetic stimulation of the posterior superior temporal cortex during action observation.

    Brain Topography 26(2):278 (2013) PMID 22772359

    The posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS) is active when observing biological motion. We investigated the functional connections of the pSTS node within the action observation network by measuring the after-effect of focal repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) with whole-brain ...
  15. Language.

    Handbook of Clinical Neurology 116:681 (2013) PMID 24112933

    Noninvasive focal brain stimulation by means of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) has been used extensively in the past 20 years to investigate normal language functions. The picture emerging from this collection of empirical works is that of several independent modular functions mapped on...
  16. Occipital transcranial magnetic stimulation has an activity-dependent suppressive effect.

    Journal of Neuroscience 32(36):12361 (2012) PMID 22956826 PMCID PMC3472806

    The effects of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) vary depending on the brain state at the stimulation moment. Four mechanisms have been proposed to underlie these effects: (1) virtual lesion--TMS suppresses neural signals; (2) preferential activation of less active neurons--TMS drives up a...
  17. Your actions in my cerebellum: subclinical deficits in action observation in patients with unilateral chronic cerebellar stroke.

    Cerebellum 11(1):264 (2012) PMID 21842246

    Empirical evidence indicates that cognitive consequences of cerebellar lesions tend to be mild and less important than the symptoms due to lesions to cerebral areas. By contrast, imaging studies consistently report strong cerebellar activity during tasks of action observation and action understa...
  18. Integration in working memory: a magnetic stimulation study on the role of left anterior prefrontal cortex.

    PLoS ONE 7(8):e43731 (2012) PMID 22937085 PMCID PMC3427149

    Integration is a fundamental working memory operation, requiring the insertion of information from one task into the execution of another concurrent task. Previous neuroimaging studies have suggested the involvement of left anterior prefrontal cortex (L-aPFC) in relation to working memory integr...
  19. The frames of reference of the motor-visual aftereffect.

    PLoS ONE 7(7):e40892 (2012) PMID 22848406 PMCID PMC3406615

    Repeatedly performing similar motor acts produces short-term adaptive changes in the agent's motor system. One striking use-dependent effect is the motor-to-visual aftereffect (MVA), a short-lasting negative bias in the conceptual categorization of visually-presented training-related motor behav...
  20. Articulatory bias in speech categorization: Evidence from use-induced motor plasticity.

    Cortex 47(8):1001 (2011) PMID 21501836