Predictive processing account of action perception: evidence from effective connectivity in the actionobservation network
Embargo Lift Date: 2021-03-17
132 - 142
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Visual perception of actions is supported by a network of brain regions in the occipito-temporal, parietal, and premotor cortex in the primate brain, known as the Action Observation Network (AON). Although there is a growing body of research that characterizes the functional properties of each node of this network, the communication and direction of information flow between the nodes is unclear. According to the predictive coding account of action perception (Kilner, Friston, & Frith, 2007a; 2007b), this network is not a purely feedforward system but has backward connections through which prediction error signals are communicated between the regions of the AON. In the present study, we investigated the effective connectivity of the AON in an experimental setting where the human subjects' predictions about the observed agent were violated, using fMRI and Dynamical Causal Modeling (DCM). We specifically examined the influence of the lowest and highest nodes in the AON hierarchy, pSTS and ventral premotor cortex, respectively, on the middle node, inferior parietal cortex during prediction violation. Our DCM results suggest that the influence on the inferior parietal node is through a feedback connection from ventral premotor cortex during perception of actions that violate people's predictions.