University of Southern California
Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy

The Mirror Neuron System (MNS) and Action Observation after Stroke Affecting Cortical Motor Regions

Principal Investigator: Lisa Aziz-Zadeh NICHD_logo_small

Funding Source: NIH/National Institute of
Child Health and Human Development

Project Period: 07/01/11 – 06/30/14

Award Number: 1 R03 HD067475-01A1

Total Award: $162,000

Collaborators: Carolee Winstein and Nerses Sanossian

Abstract: The mirror neuron system (MNS) – motor brain regions that respond when we perform an action and when we observe similar actions being performed by others – may be engaged to promote motor recovery after stroke in patients with limited voluntary movement ability. By studying how the brain perceives actions after stroke, we will better understand how to use methods that engage the MNS for stroke rehabilitation, for example, action observation.  By asking how the brain perceives actions that use the counterpart to the paretic limb, we will better understand the role of the MNS and the mentalizing system for action perception, imitation, and social cognition.

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