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Appears in Collections:Psychology Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Neural responses when learning spatial and object sequencing tasks via imitation
Author(s): Renner, Elizabeth
White, Jessica P
Hamilton, Antonia F C
Subiaul, Francys
Keywords: capsules
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Issue Date: 3-Aug-2018
Citation: Renner E, White JP, Hamilton AFC & Subiaul F (2018) Neural responses when learning spatial and object sequencing tasks via imitation. PLoS One, 13 (8), Art. No.: e0201619.
The Cog in the Ratchet: Illuminating the Cognitive Mechanisms Generating Human Cumulative Culture
Grant Agreement no 648841
Abstract: Humans often learn new things via imitation. Here we draw on studies of imitation in children to characterise the brain system(s) involved in the imitation of different sequence types using functional magnetic resonance imaging. On each trial, healthy adult participants learned one of two rule types governing the sequencing of three pictures: a motor-spatial rule (in the spatial task) or an object-based rule (in the cognitive task). Sequences were learned via one of three demonstration types: a video of a hand selecting items in the sequence using a joystick (Hand condition), a computer display highlighting each item in order (Ghost condition), or a text-based demonstration of the sequence (Text condition). Participants then used a joystick to execute the learned sequence. Patterns of activation during demonstration observation suggest specialisation for object-based imitation in inferior frontal gyrus, specialisation for spatial sequences in anterior intraparietal sulcus (IPS), and a general preference for imitation in middle IPS. Adult behavioural performance contrasted with that of children in previous studies—indicating that they experienced more difficulty with the cognitive task—while neuroimaging results support the engagement of different neural regions when solving these tasks. Further study is needed on whether children’s differential performance is related to delayed IPS maturation.
DOI Link: 10.1371/journal.pone.0201619
Rights: © 2018 Renner et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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