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Individuals' and groups' intentions in the medial prefrontal cortex

Chaminade, Thierrya,b; Kawato, Mitsuoc; Frith, Chrisd

doi: 10.1097/WNR.0b013e32834b7004

Functional MRI signal was recorded while participants perceived stimuli presented using moving dots. In two conditions of interest, the motion of dots depicted intentions: dots representing the joints of an agent performing an action, and dots representing individual agents behaving contingently. The finding of a common cluster in the posterior part of the medial frontal cortex involved in intentional action representation validates the hypothesis that perception of these two conditions requires a similar internal representation. A cluster responding to the behaving group only is found in the anterior medial frontal cortex. These results support a division of the medial frontal cortex according to social stimuli attributes, with anterior areas responding to higher-order group behaviours integrating the action of multiple individual agents.

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aInstitut de Neurosciences Cognitives de la Méditerranée, CNRS, Université de la Méditerranée, Marseille, France

bNational Institute of Information and Communication Technology

cComputational Neuroscience Laboratories, Advanced Telecommunication Research Institute International, Seika-cho, Soraku-gun, Kyoto, Japan

dWellcome Trust Center for Neuroimaging, London WC1N 3BG, UK

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Correspondence to Thierry Chaminade, PhD, Institut de Neurosciences Cognitives de la Méditerranée, CNRS, Université de la Méditerranée, 31 Chemin Joseph Aiguier, Marseille, France Tel: +33 491164538; fax: +33 4 91 16 44 98; e-mail:

Received July 7, 2011

Accepted July 29, 2011

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.