Exploring the EEG mu rhythm associated with observation and execution of a goal-directed action in 14-month-old preterm infants

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Abstract

Electroencephalographic mu rhythm desynchronization is thought to reflect Mirror Neuron System (MNS) activity and represents an important neural correlate of the coupling between action execution and perception. It is still unclear if the MNS in human ontogeny is already available at the beginning of postnatal life and how early experience impacts its development. Premature birth provides a “natural condition” for investigating the effects of early, atypical extra-uterine experience on MNS. The main aim of the present study was to investigate whether the MNS activity is associated with prematurity. We compared the mu rhythm activity in preterm (PT) and full-term (FT) 14-month old infants during an action observation/execution (AO/AE) task. Mu rhythm desynchronization was computed over frontal, central, parietal and occipital regions. Both groups showed mu rhythm suppression in all the scalp regions during action execution. Different desynchronization patterns emerged during action observation. Specifically, FT infants showed mu suppression in the right frontal, bilateral parietal and occipital regions; whereas PT infants exhibited mu suppression only in the right parietal region. Overall, these preliminary findings indicate that an atypical extra uterine experience might have an impact on the MNS activity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8975
JournalScientific Reports
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2019

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Mirror Neurons
Premature Infants
Electroencephalography
Parietal Lobe
Observation
Occipital Lobe
Beginning of Human Life
Life Change Events
Premature Birth
Scalp

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

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title = "Exploring the EEG mu rhythm associated with observation and execution of a goal-directed action in 14-month-old preterm infants",
abstract = "Electroencephalographic mu rhythm desynchronization is thought to reflect Mirror Neuron System (MNS) activity and represents an important neural correlate of the coupling between action execution and perception. It is still unclear if the MNS in human ontogeny is already available at the beginning of postnatal life and how early experience impacts its development. Premature birth provides a “natural condition” for investigating the effects of early, atypical extra-uterine experience on MNS. The main aim of the present study was to investigate whether the MNS activity is associated with prematurity. We compared the mu rhythm activity in preterm (PT) and full-term (FT) 14-month old infants during an action observation/execution (AO/AE) task. Mu rhythm desynchronization was computed over frontal, central, parietal and occipital regions. Both groups showed mu rhythm suppression in all the scalp regions during action execution. Different desynchronization patterns emerged during action observation. Specifically, FT infants showed mu suppression in the right frontal, bilateral parietal and occipital regions; whereas PT infants exhibited mu suppression only in the right parietal region. Overall, these preliminary findings indicate that an atypical extra uterine experience might have an impact on the MNS activity.",
author = "Rosario Montirosso and Caterina Piazza and Lorenzo Giusti and Livio Provenzi and Ferrari, {Pier Francesco} and Gianluigi Reni and Renato Borgatti",
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AU - Montirosso, Rosario

AU - Piazza, Caterina

AU - Giusti, Lorenzo

AU - Provenzi, Livio

AU - Ferrari, Pier Francesco

AU - Reni, Gianluigi

AU - Borgatti, Renato

PY - 2019/12/1

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N2 - Electroencephalographic mu rhythm desynchronization is thought to reflect Mirror Neuron System (MNS) activity and represents an important neural correlate of the coupling between action execution and perception. It is still unclear if the MNS in human ontogeny is already available at the beginning of postnatal life and how early experience impacts its development. Premature birth provides a “natural condition” for investigating the effects of early, atypical extra-uterine experience on MNS. The main aim of the present study was to investigate whether the MNS activity is associated with prematurity. We compared the mu rhythm activity in preterm (PT) and full-term (FT) 14-month old infants during an action observation/execution (AO/AE) task. Mu rhythm desynchronization was computed over frontal, central, parietal and occipital regions. Both groups showed mu rhythm suppression in all the scalp regions during action execution. Different desynchronization patterns emerged during action observation. Specifically, FT infants showed mu suppression in the right frontal, bilateral parietal and occipital regions; whereas PT infants exhibited mu suppression only in the right parietal region. Overall, these preliminary findings indicate that an atypical extra uterine experience might have an impact on the MNS activity.

AB - Electroencephalographic mu rhythm desynchronization is thought to reflect Mirror Neuron System (MNS) activity and represents an important neural correlate of the coupling between action execution and perception. It is still unclear if the MNS in human ontogeny is already available at the beginning of postnatal life and how early experience impacts its development. Premature birth provides a “natural condition” for investigating the effects of early, atypical extra-uterine experience on MNS. The main aim of the present study was to investigate whether the MNS activity is associated with prematurity. We compared the mu rhythm activity in preterm (PT) and full-term (FT) 14-month old infants during an action observation/execution (AO/AE) task. Mu rhythm desynchronization was computed over frontal, central, parietal and occipital regions. Both groups showed mu rhythm suppression in all the scalp regions during action execution. Different desynchronization patterns emerged during action observation. Specifically, FT infants showed mu suppression in the right frontal, bilateral parietal and occipital regions; whereas PT infants exhibited mu suppression only in the right parietal region. Overall, these preliminary findings indicate that an atypical extra uterine experience might have an impact on the MNS activity.

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