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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
COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE AND NEUROPSYCHOLOGY
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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

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal's website (www.neuroreport.com).

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: tchamina@gmail.com

Received July 7, 2011

Accepted July 29, 2011

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.