The 7th SEFM Young Researcher's Speaker Series
Joint Workshop | 2013.11.7

Note: This workshop was jointly held with the Center for Experimental Research in Social Sciences, Hokkaido University.

Date & Time : 2013. 11. 7 (Thu) 10am-

Location: Hokkaido University, Faculty of Letters, room E204

Participants: Tatsuya Kameda, Masaki Yuki, Masanori Takezawa, Nobuyuki Takahashi, Susumu Ohnuma, and 20 participants (total 25 participants)

Speaker: Prof. Kenji Ogawa (Hokkaido University)

Title: Neural representations of action recognition


Preceding studies have suggested that the part of the brain engaged in the awareness 
of one’s own actions is the same as that which recognizes the actions of others, 
known as the mirror system. The hypothesis that the actions of others as observed 
by another human being are expressed through this mirror system was examined 
using the fMRI decoding method. The image of an object being manipulated was 
shown to the participants of the study, where 5 attributes including action, object, 
point of view, a hand and the size of the image were independently controlled, and 
how each participant’s brain distinguished the stimulus image for each variable was 
measured. Consequently, in the earlier visual regions the level of precise identification 
was dependant on the number of pixels of the stimulus image. On the other hand, in 
the mirror system it showed an accuracy of more than 50% in recognition of action, 
and the level of identification of action in intervals of high dissimilarity was generalized. 
This experiment suggested that in the mirror system the actions of others was reflected 
unchanged even though the visual input was varied.