GLOSSARY


Affordances-Neural representations of the ways in which we can interact with objects in the world; the "how" of visual processing. Looking at a coffee mug, for example, we form a representation of how we might curl our finger around the handle to pick it up.

Anterior Insula-The anterior part of the insular cortex.

Area AIP-The area of the brain responsible for gleaning affordances from objects.

Autism-"A pervasive developmental disorder of children, characterized by impaired communication, excessive rigidity, and emotional detachment." Dictionary.com

Basal Ganglia-A group of nuclei that connects the cortex, thalamus, and brainstem; involved in motor functions and emotions

Broca's region/area-located in the inferior frontal gyrus of the frontal lobe. It is responsible for language processing and speech production. middle frontal gyrus- one third of the frontal lobe. Wikipedia

Cingulate cortex- An area of the brain implicated in emotion.

Canonical neurons-The subcategory of neurons located in the F5 region that do not possess mirror characteristics.

Dorsal-Referring to the top of the brain.

Electroencephalogram (EEG)-A procedure during which electrodes are attached to the head and continuous electrical activity in the brain is recorded

F5 region-The area in the primate brain where mirror neurons are found (in addition to non-mirror active "canonical" neurons).

fMRI-"A form of magnetic resonance imaging of the brain that registers blood flow to functioning areas of the brain." Dictionary.com

Fusiform gyrus-a part of the temporal lobe, is potentially responsible for many things, including face and body recognition and number and word recognition. Wikipedia

Great Apes-"The great apes are the members of the biological family Hominidae which includes humans, chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans." Wikipedia.com

Inferior frontal gyrus-A gyrus, or ridge, located on the frontal lobe.

Insular cortex-currently getting attention for its significance in body representation and subjective emotional experience. Wikipedia

Inferior Parietal Lobe-The lower part of the parietal lobe; thought to be involved in spatial perception and movement (see image below)

Left anterior parietal lobule-part of the parietal lobe which plays a critical role in integrating sensory information from various parts of the body. Wikipedia

Left superior temporal sulcus-a sulcus in the upper part of the temporal lobe.

Limbic System-"A ring of interconnected structures in the midline of the brain around the hypothalamus, involved with emotion and memory and with homeostatic regulatory systems." Dictionary.com

Magnetoencephalographic (MEG)-A procedure that measures changes in electrical activity through magnetic fields that are produced

Motor evoked potentials (MEPs)-recordings of electrical stimulation in muscles following TMS. Wikipedia

Neuron-"A specialized, impulse-conducting cell that is the functional unit of the nervous system, consisting of the cell body and its processes, the axon and dendrites." Dictionary.com

Occipital Cortex-Located in the back of the brain; responsible for visual processing

Parity-The state or condition of being equal; if a language has parity, then what matters to the speaker matters in the same way to the listener. The fact that mirror neurons establish parity between those executing actions and those observing actions provides the foundation for the mirror system hypothesis for the evolution of language.

Parrahippocampal gyrus-the grey matter that surround the hippocampus and plays an important role in the encoding and retrieval of memory. Wikipedia

Pars opercularis-part of the inferior frontal gyrus and part of Broca's area. Wikipedia

PET scans-a nuclear medicine imaging technique that is used to create three-dimensional pictures of the brain which show the metabolic activity of different areas of the brain. Wikipedia

Posterior Parietal Cortex-A visual processing area located in the back of the parietal lobe; may also be location where visual stimuli is filtered for salience.

Precuneus-located above the cuneus in the parietal lobe, part of the limbic system.

Premotor cortex-"The premotor cortex is an area of motor cortex in the frontal lobe of the brain. It is responsible for sensory guidance of movement and control of proximal and trunk muscles of the body." Wikipedia.com

Primary Motor Cortex-Located at the back of the motor cortex; key player in planning and executing movement (see image below)

Primate call area-The area of the primate's brain responsible for vocalizations. Receives input from the cingulate cortex, an area of the brain implicated in emotion.

Procedural Learning-The learning of sequences of actions through repetition.

Proprioception-"Perception governed by proprioceptors, as awareness of the position of one's body." Dictionary.com

Rostral Located in front of/in the front

Schemas-A mental structure representing some aspect of the world. Depending on and individual's experiences, a schema can vary in complexity. For example, a novice golfer might possess many simpler schemas for the elements of a golf swing, but with practice, these will merge into one unitary schema.

Single Neuron Recording-The measurement of the activity of a single neuron through electrodes in the brain.

SMA-the supplementary motor area is located just in front of the primary motor cortex. It is responsible for making plans of action under internal control like sequences of movements from memory. Wikipedia

Somatosensory-"Of or pertaining to sensations that involve parts of the body not associated with the primary sense organs." Dictionary.com

STG-the superior temporal gyrus is home to the primary auditory cortex and Wernicke's area. Wikipedia

Superior Temporal Lobe-An association area located in the upper part of the temporal lobe

Temporal lobe-The temporal lobes are located on the sides of the brain, and are involved in auditory processing.

Theory of Mind-"The ability to attribute mental states-beliefs, intents, desires, pretending, knowledge, etc.-to oneself and others." Wikipedia.com

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)-noninvasive way to activate regions of the brain by using weak electrical currents to change the magnetic fields of brain tissue. Wikipedia

Ventral-Referring to the bottom of the brain.

Ventral premotor cortex-the more ventral/subcortical area of the premotor cortex. Wikipedia

Ventral stream-The stream of information projecting from the visual cortex to the bottom of the brain, involved in processing "what" an object is. This processing is key to our understanding that we are looking at a "coffee cup," rather than a "pencil sharpener."


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