Comparison of the brain regions activated during comprehension of action sentences referring to unimanual or bimanual actions: An fMRI study

Abstract

Within the framework of embodied cognition, sentences are thought to be comprehended by mental simulations in the sensorimotor system. Several fMRI studies have shown that motor regions are activated during action-sentence comprehension tasks. In this fMRI study, we examined whether all body movements are mentally simulated during these tasks. We assigned action-sentence comprehension tasks to 18 participants for identifying brain regions that are activated while reading sentences referring to unimanual or bimanual actions. When the participants read the bimanual action sentences, left SPL (Brodmann Area 7), IPL (BA40), SFL (BA6) and MCgG (BA23, 24) were activated. Direct comparison between the two conditions found significant activation of left IPL (BA40), IOG and MTG (BA18) in reading the bimanual sentences. Therefore, we conclude that while reading bimanual action sentences, mental simulations occur for bimanual movement as well as for visual experiences. Broad range of brain regions would associate with mental simulations of action sentences.


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