The mirror neuron system and treatment of stroke
Version of Record online: 24 NOV 2010
Copyright © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Special Issue: Recent Advances in Stroke Recovery: Implications for Understanding Developmental Changes in Brain Plasticity and Possible Treatments for Amblyopia
Volume 54, Issue 3, pages 293–310, April 2012
How to Cite
Small, S. L., Buccino, G. and Solodkin, A. (2012), The mirror neuron system and treatment of stroke. Dev. Psychobiol., 54: 293–310. doi: 10.1002/dev.20504
- Issue online: 13 MAR 2012
- Version of Record online: 24 NOV 2010
- Manuscript Accepted: 14 SEP 2010
- Manuscript Received: 8 SEP 2010
- National Institutes of Health (NIH). Grant Numbers: R01 DC007488, RO1 DC003378, NS-54942
- James S. McDonnell Foundation
- motor function;
- mirror neuron;
Mirror neurons discharge during the execution of ecological goal-directed manual and oral actions, as well as during the observation of the same actions done by other individuals. These neurons were first identified in the ventral premotor cortex (PMv; area F5) and later on in the inferior parietal lobule (areas PF and PFG) of monkey brain, constituting a “mirror neuron” system. Several pieces of experimental data suggest that a mirror neuron system devoted to hand, mouth, and foot actions might also be present in humans. In the present paper, we review the experimental evidence on the role of the mirror neuron system in action understanding and imitation, both in hand motor function and speech. Based on the features of the mirror neuron system and its role in action understanding and imitation, we discuss the use of action observation and imitation as an approach for systematic training in the rehabilitation of patients with motor impairment of the upper limb and aphasia following stroke. We present the results of some preliminary studies to test this concept, and a discussion of network models as a measure of neurobiological change. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Dev Psychobiol 54:293-310, 2012.