The influence of intrapersonal sensorimotor experiences on the corticospinal responses during action observation

James W. Roberts, Merryn D. Constable, Raquel Burgess, James L. Lyons, Timothy N. Welsh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
12 Downloads (Pure)


The coupling of perception and action has been strongly indicated by evidence that the observation of an action primes a response in the observer. It has been proposed that these primed responses may be inhibited when the observer is able to more closely distinguish between self- and other-generated actions – the greater the distinction, then the greater the inhibition of the primed response. This self–other distinction is shown to be enhanced following a period of visual feedback of self-generated action. The present study was designed to examine how sensorimotor experiences pertaining to self-generated action affect primed responses from observed actions. Single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation was used to investigate corticospinal activity elicited during the observation of index- and little-finger actions before and after training (self-generated action). For sensorimotor training, participants executed finger movements with or without visual feedback of their own movement. Results showed that the increases in muscle-specific corticospinal activity elicited from action–observation persisted after training without visual feedback, but did not emerge following training with visual feedback. This inhibition in corticospinal activity during action–observation following training with vision could have resulted from the refining of internal models of self-generated action, which then led to a greater distinction between “self” and “other” actions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)246-256
JournalSocial Neuroscience
Issue number2
Early online date13 Feb 2017
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2018
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'The influence of intrapersonal sensorimotor experiences on the corticospinal responses during action observation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this