The feeling of movement: EEG evidence for mirroring activity during the observations of static, ambiguous stimuli in the Rorschach cards

Luciano Giromini, Piero Porcelli, Donald J. Viglione, Laura Parolin, Jaime A. Pineda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The mirror neuron system (MNS) is considered the best explanation for the neural basis of embodied simulation. To date no study has investigated if it may be activated not only by actual but by the " feeling of movement" The Rorschach test cards were used to investigate evidence of EEG mu wave suppression at central areas, an index of MNS activity, since human movement responses (M) to the Rorschach elicit such feelings of movement. Nineteen healthy volunteers observed different sets of Rorschach stimuli during attribution, identification, and observation of human movements and different scenarios while their EEG were recorded. Significant mu suppression occurred when subjects perceived movement, regardless of the experimental condition. These results show that mirroring can be activated by static, ambiguous stimuli such as Rorschach cards, suggesting that internal representation of the " feeling of movement" may be sufficient to trigger MNS activity even when minimal external cues are present.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-241
Number of pages9
JournalBiological Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2010



  • Action observation
  • Empathy
  • Mirror neurons
  • Rorschach

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology

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