The coupling of perception and action has been strongly indicated by evidence that the observation of an action primes a response in the observer. It has been proposed that these primed responses may be inhibited when the observer is able to more closely distinguish between self- and other-generated actions – the greater the distinction, then the greater the inhibition of the primed response. This self–other distinction is shown to be enhanced following a period of visual feedback of self-generated action. The present study was designed to examine how sensorimotor experiences pertaining to self-generated action affect primed responses from observed actions. Single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation was used to investigate corticospinal activity elicited during the observation of index- and little-finger actions before and after training (self-generated action). For sensorimotor training, participants executed finger movements with or without visual feedback of their own movement. Results showed that the increases in muscle-specific corticospinal activity elicited from action–observation persisted after training without visual feedback, but did not emerge following training with visual feedback. This inhibition in corticospinal activity during action–observation following training with vision could have resulted from the refining of internal models of self-generated action, which then led to a greater distinction between “self” and “other” actions.
|Early online date||13 Feb 2017|
|Publication status||Published - 4 Mar 2018|