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The Dorsal Frontoparietal Network: A Core System for Emulated Action.

Authors
  • Ptak, Radek1
  • Schnider, Armin2
  • Fellrath, Julia3
  • 1 Division of Neurorehabilitation, Geneva University Hospital, Geneva, Switzerland; Laboratory of Cognitive Neurorehabilitation, Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland; Cognitive Psychology, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland. Electronic address: [email protected] , (Switzerland)
  • 2 Division of Neurorehabilitation, Geneva University Hospital, Geneva, Switzerland; Laboratory of Cognitive Neurorehabilitation, Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland. , (Switzerland)
  • 3 Queensland Brain Institute, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, QLD, Australia. , (Australia)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Trends in cognitive sciences
Publication Date
Aug 01, 2017
Volume
21
Issue
8
Pages
589–599
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.tics.2017.05.002
PMID: 28578977
Source
Medline
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

The dorsal frontoparietal network (dFPN) of the human brain assumes a puzzling variety of functions, including motor planning and imagery, mental rotation, spatial attention, and working memory. How can a single network engage in such a diversity of roles? We propose that cognitive computations relying on the dFPN can be pinned down to a core function underlying offline motor planning: action emulation. Emulation creates a dynamic representation of abstract movement kinematics, sustains the internal manipulation of this representation, and ensures its maintenance over short time periods. Based on these fundamental characteristics, the dFPN has evolved from a pure motor control network into a domain-general system supporting various cognitive and motor functions.

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