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Gesture Execution Improves Detection Of Errors In The Actions Of Others

Gesture Execution Improves Detection Of Errors In The Actions Of Others: A Lesion Study In Apraxia

Mounting evidence suggests that higher-order socio-cognitive processes such as perceiving and understanding the actions of other individuals imply a resonant simulation process that is underpinned by neural activity in a fronto-parietal, action observation network (AON). Studies indicate that accuracy in judging the actions performed by a model is influenced by an onlooker’s implicit knowledge of the motor patterns involved in the perceived action. However, no information on the causative role of the AON in monitoring others’ action errors and on whether acting may improve the ability to monitor the actions of others is currently available. Here we explored these issues by testing the ability of patients with apraxia, who typically present with deficits in performing and recognizing skillful movements, to decide whether the observed actions were correctly or incorrectly executed.  We found that apraxic patients who were specifically impaired in the action discrimination task, were also selectively impaired in detecting errors in the action of others. Moreover, using state-of-the-art lesion mapping procedures we show that while both frontal and parietal structures are involved in both executing and discriminating the actions of others, the ability to specifically detect errors in what other individuals do, seems linked to the left frontal regions.

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  • Gesture Execution Improves Detection Of Errors In The Actions Of Others