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Contact Information

The Sobell Department of Movement Neuroscience and Motor Disorders, Institute of Neurology, UCL


My main area of research is human social interaction, specifically, the role of the motor system in our ability to infer the beliefs and intentions in other's minds. My research includes theoretical work, human neuroimaging studies, both magnetoencephalography (MEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), behavioural studies and the analysis of single cell and local field potential (LFP) recordings recorded from the Macaque monkey. My theoretical work has addressed the question how are we able to infer intentions from an observed action. I have proposed a theoretical model in which the role of the motor system in inferring the goals of observed actions can be understood within a predictive coding framework where the motor system is active when observing an action because it is the best model of the observed action. I have employed MEG to demonstrate that activity in the motor cortex is modulated by both the kinematics of an observed action and the side of visual space that the observed action occurred. I have employed fMRI to provide evidence of mirror neurons in humans and to demonstrate that activity in the human inferior frontal gyrus functionally dissociates. Using behavioural measures I have shown that subjects are sensitive to subtle changes in the kinematics of an observed action and that subjects can correctly infer someone elses confidence based on the kinematics of their action.More recently I have analysed the firing pattern of macaque mirror-neurons and shown that mirror-neuron firing is modulated by repeated observation of the same action.  I am also active in research on novel analyses of MEG and EEG datasets and have applied the statistical method of random field theory to neurophysiological data so that researchers are now able to report results with corrected statistics.

Recent News

  • Mirror neuron in numbers
    Attached is my attempt to give an overview of all 22 papers that have studied mirror neurons directly. I have given what I believe are the accurate total number of neurons recorded, the number of mirror neurons and then the percentage of mirror neurons. If you spot any errors then please let me know
    Posted 27 Aug 2013 05:15 by James Kilner
  • Original research articles on Mirror Neurons


    F5 Mirror Neurons 

    1.     Caggiano V, Fogassi L, Rizzolatti G, Casile A, Giese MA, Thier P. Mirror neurons encode the subjective value of an observed action. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2012 Jul 17;109(29):11848-53. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1205553109. Epub 2012 Jul 2.PubMed PMID: 22753471; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3406819.

    2.     Caggiano V, Fogassi L, Rizzolatti G, Pomper JK, Thier P, Giese MA, Casile A View-based encoding of actions in mirror neurons of area f5 in macaque premotor cortex. Curr Biol. 2011 Jan 25;21(2):144-8. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2010.12.022. Epub  2011 Jan 13. PubMed PMID: 21236674 

    3.     Caggiano V, Fogassi L, Rizzolatti G, Thier P, Casile A. Mirror neurons differentially encode the peripersonal and extrapersonal space of monkeys. Science. 2009 Apr 17;324(5925):403-6. doi: 10.1126/science.1166818. PubMed PMID: 19372433

    4.     Caggiano V, Pomper JK, Fleischer F, Fogassi L, Giese M, Thier P. Mirror neurons in monkey area F5 do not adapt to the observation of repeated actions Nat Commun. 2013;4:1433. doi: 10.1038/ncomms2419. PubMed PMID: 23385578.

    5.     di Pellegrino G, Fadiga L, Fogassi L, Gallese V, Rizzolatti G. Understanding motor events: a neurophysiological study. Exp Brain Res. 1992;91(1):176-80.

    6.     Ferrari PF, Gallese V, Rizzolatti G, Fogassi L. Mirror neurons responding to  the observation of ingestive and communicative mouth actions in the monkey ventral premotor cortex. Eur J Neurosci. 2003 Apr;17(8):1703-14. PubMed PMID: 1275238

    7.     Ferrari PF, Rozzi S, Fogassi L. Mirror neurons responding to observation of actions made with tools in monkey ventral premotor cortex. J Cogn Neurosci. 2005 Feb;17(2):212-26. PubMed PMID: 15811234.

    8.     Gallese V, Fadiga L, Fogassi L, Rizzolatti G. Action recognition in the premotor cortex. Brain. 1996 Apr;119 ( Pt 2):593-609. PubMed PMID: 8800951. 

    9.     Keysers C, Kohler E, Umilt√† MA, Nanetti L, Fogassi L, Gallese V. Audiovisual  mirror neurons and action recognition. Exp Brain Res. 2003 Dec;153(4):628-36. Epub 2003 Aug 23. PubMed PMID: 12937876. 

    10.  Kohler E, Keysers C, Umiltà MA, Fogassi L, Gallese V, Rizzolatti G.Hearing sounds,  understanding actions: action representation in mirror neurons. Science. 2002 Aug 2;297(5582):846-8. 

    11.  Kraskov A, Dancause N, Quallo MM, Shepherd S, Lemon RN. Corticospinal neurons in macaque ventral premotor cortex with mirror properties: a potential mechanism for action suppression? Neuron. 2009 Dec 24;64(6):922-30. D 10.1016/j.neuron.2009.12.010. PubMed PMID: 20064397; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2862290. 

    12.  Rochat MJ, Caruana F, Jezzini A, Escola L, Intskirveli I, Grammont F, Gallese V, Rizzolatti G, Umilt√† MA. Responses of mirror neurons in area F5 to hand and tool grasping observation. Exp Brain Res. 2010 Aug;204(4):605-16. doi:10.1007/s00221-010-2329-9. Epub 2010 Jun 26. PubMed PMID: 20577726; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2903687. 

    13.  Umilta MA, Kohler E, Gallese V, Fogassi L, Fadiga L, Keysers C, Rizzolatti G. I know what you are doing. a neurophysiological study. Neuron. 2001 Jul 19;31(1):155-65. PubMed PMID: 11498058.


    IPL Mirror Neurons 

    14.  Fogassi L, Ferrari PF, Gesierich B, Rozzi S, Chersi F, Rizzolatti G. Parietal lobe: from action organization to intention understanding. Science. 2005 Apr 29;308(5722):662-7. PubMed PMID: 15860620. 

    15.  Rozzi S, Ferrari PF, Bonini L, Rizzolatti G, Fogassi L. Functional organization of inferior parietal lobule convexity in the macaque monkey:electrophysiological characterization of motor, sensory and mirror responses and their correlation with cytoarchitectonic areas. Eur J Neurosci. 2008 Oct;28(8):1569-88. doi: 10.1111/j.1460-9568.2008.06395.x. Epub 2008 Aug 7. PubMed PMID: 18691325


    F5 & IPL Mirror Neurons 

    16.  Bonini L, Rozzi S, Serventi FU, Simone L, Ferrari PF, Fogassi L. Ventral premotor and inferior parietal cortices make distinct contribution to action organization and intention understanding. Cereb Cortex. 2010 Jun;20(6):1372-85. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhp200. Epub 2009 Oct 5. PubMed PMID: 19805419.


    M1 Mirror Neurons 

    17.  Dushanova J, Donoghue J. Neurons in primary motor cortex engaged during action observation. Eur J Neurosci. 2010 Jan;31(2):386-98. doi:10.1111/j.1460-9568.2009.07067.x. Epub 2010 Jan 13. PubMed PMID: 20074212; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2862560. 

    18.  Vigneswaran G, Philipp R, Lemon RN, Kraskov A. M1 corticospinal mirror neurons and their role in movement suppression during action observation. Curr Biol. 2013 Feb 4;23(3):236-43. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2012.12.006. Epub 2013 Jan 3.


    M1 & PMd Mirror Neurons 

    19.  Tkach D, Reimer J, Hatsopoulos NG. Congruent activity during action and action observation in motor cortex. J Neurosci. 2007 Nov 28;27(48):13241-50. PubMed PMID: 18045918.


    LIP Mirror Neurons 

    20.  Shepherd SV, Klein JT, Deaner RO, Platt ML. Mirroring of attention by neurons  in macaque parietal cortex. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Jun 9;106(23):9489-94. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0900419106. Epub 2009 May 22. PubMed PMID: 19470477; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2685741.




    Posted 29 Jul 2013 08:59 by James Kilner
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