Empirical evidence indicates that cognitive consequences of cerebellar lesions tend to be mild and less important than the symptoms due to lesions to cerebral areas. By contrast, imaging studies consistently report strong cerebellar activity during tasks of action observation and action understanding. This has been interpreted as part of the automatic motor simulation process that takes place in the context of action observation. The function of the cerebellum as a sequencer during executed movements makes it a good candidate, within the framework of embodied cognition, for a pivotal role in understanding the timing of action sequences. Here, we investigated a cohort of eight patients with chronic, first-ever, isolated, ischemic lesions of the cerebellum. The experimental task consisted in identifying a plausible sequence of pictures from a randomly ordered group of still frames extracted from (a) a complex action performed by a human actor ("biological action" test) or (b) a complex physical event occurring to an inanimate object ("folk physics" test). A group of 16 healthy participants was used as control. The main result showed that cerebellar patients performed significantly worse than controls in both sequencing tasks, but performed much worse in the "biological action" test than in the "folk physics" test. The dissociation described here suggests that observed sequences of simple motor acts seem to be represented differentially from other sequences in the cerebellum.

Your actions in my cerebellum: subclinical deficits in action observation in patients with unilateral chronic cerebellar stroke

Cattaneo, Luigi;Barchiesi, Guido;
2012-01-01

Abstract

Empirical evidence indicates that cognitive consequences of cerebellar lesions tend to be mild and less important than the symptoms due to lesions to cerebral areas. By contrast, imaging studies consistently report strong cerebellar activity during tasks of action observation and action understanding. This has been interpreted as part of the automatic motor simulation process that takes place in the context of action observation. The function of the cerebellum as a sequencer during executed movements makes it a good candidate, within the framework of embodied cognition, for a pivotal role in understanding the timing of action sequences. Here, we investigated a cohort of eight patients with chronic, first-ever, isolated, ischemic lesions of the cerebellum. The experimental task consisted in identifying a plausible sequence of pictures from a randomly ordered group of still frames extracted from (a) a complex action performed by a human actor ("biological action" test) or (b) a complex physical event occurring to an inanimate object ("folk physics" test). A group of 16 healthy participants was used as control. The main result showed that cerebellar patients performed significantly worse than controls in both sequencing tasks, but performed much worse in the "biological action" test than in the "folk physics" test. The dissociation described here suggests that observed sequences of simple motor acts seem to be represented differentially from other sequences in the cerebellum.
2012
1
Cattaneo, Luigi; M., Fasanelli; O., Andreatta; D. M., Bonifati; Barchiesi, Guido; F., Caruana
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11572/94552
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