We review neuromodulation and lesion studies that address how activations in the mirror neuron system contribute to our perception of observed actions. Past reviews showed disruptions of this parieto-premotor network impair imitation and goal and kinematic processing. Recent studies bring five new themes. First, focal perturbations of a node of that circuit lead to changes across all nodes. Second, primary somatosensory cortex is an integral part of this network suggesting embodied representations are somatosensory-motor. Third, disturbing this network impairs the ability to predict the actions of others in the close (∼300ms) future. Fourth, disruptions impair our ability to coordinate our actions with others. Fifth, disrupting this network, the insula or cingulate also impairs emotion recognition.
- Journal Article