Observing repetitive finger movements modulates response times of auditorily cued finger movements

Biermann-Ruben, Katja, Jonas, Melanie, Kessler, Klaus, Siebner, Hartwig Roman, Bäumer, Tobias, Schnitzler, Alfons and Münchau, Alexander (2008). Observing repetitive finger movements modulates response times of auditorily cued finger movements. Brain and Cognition, 68 (1), pp. 107-113.


Our motor and perceptual representations of actions seem to be intimately linked and the human mirror neuron system (MNS) has been proposed as the mediator. In two experiments, we presented biological or non-biological movement stimuli that were either congruent or incongruent to a required response prompted by a tone. When the tone occurred with the onset of the last movement in a series, i.e., it was perceived during the movement presentation, congruent biological stimuli resulted in faster reaction times than congruent non-biological stimuli. The opposite was observed for incongruent stimuli. When the tone was presented after visual movement stimulation, however, no such interaction was present. This implies that biological movement stimuli only affect motor behaviour during visual processing but not thereafter. These data suggest that the MNS is an “online” system; longstanding repetitive visual stimulation (Experiment 1) has no benefit in comparison to only one or two repetitions (Experiment 2).

Publication DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bandc.2008.03.005
Divisions: Life & Health Sciences > Psychology
Life & Health Sciences > Clinical and Systems Neuroscience
Life & Health Sciences > Centre for Vision and Hearing Research
Additional Information: NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Brain and cognition. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Biermann-Ruben, K, Jonas, M, Kessler, K, Siebner, HR, Bäumer, T, Schnitzler, A & Münchau, A 2008, 'Observing repetitive finger movements modulates response times of auditorily cued finger movements' Brain and cognition, vol. 68, no. 1 (2008) DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bandc.2008.03.005
Uncontrolled Keywords: finger movement,online processing,mirror neuron system,sensory interaction,compatibility,reaction time task
Published Date: 2008-10
Authors: Biermann-Ruben, Katja
Jonas, Melanie
Kessler, Klaus ( 0000-0001-7307-9539)
Siebner, Hartwig Roman
Bäumer, Tobias
Schnitzler, Alfons
Münchau, Alexander



Version: Accepted Version

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