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Sensorimotor mu rhythm during action observation changes across the lifespan independently from social cognitive processes

Brunsdon, Victoria E.A., Bradford, Elisabeth E.F., Ferguson, Heather J. (2019) Sensorimotor mu rhythm during action observation changes across the lifespan independently from social cognitive processes. Developmental cognitive neuroscience, . ISSN 1878-9293. E-ISSN 1878-9307. (doi:10.1016/j.dcn.2019.100659)

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https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dcn.2019.100659

Abstract

The observation of actions performed by another person activates parts of the brain as if the observer were performing that action, referred to as the ‘mirror system’. Very little is currently known about the developmental trajectory of the mirror system and related social cognitive processes. This experimental study sought to explore the modulation of the sensorimotor mu rhythm during action observation using EEG measures, and how these may relate to social cognitive abilities across the lifespan, from late childhood through to old age. Three-hundred and one participants aged 10- to 86-years-old completed an action observation EEG task and three additional explicit measures of social cognition. As predicted, findings show enhanced sensorimotor alpha and beta desynchronization during hand action observation as compared to static hand observation. Overall, our findings indicate that the reactivity of the sensorimotor mu rhythm to the observation of others’ actions increases throughout the lifespan, independently from social cognitive processes.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1016/j.dcn.2019.100659
Uncontrolled keywords: EEG; mu rhythm; mirror system; sensorimotor processes; social cognition; developmental trajectories
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology > Cognitive Psychology
Depositing User: Heather Ferguson
Date Deposited: 16 May 2019 10:06 UTC
Last Modified: 08 Jul 2019 08:34 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/73935 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Brunsdon, Victoria E.A.: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6590-6880
Bradford, Elisabeth E.F.: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7647-0891
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