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Mirror Neuron System Study on Elderly Using Dynamic Causal Modeling fMRI Analysis

Authors: R. Keerativittatayut, B. Kaewkamnerdpong, J. Laothamatas, W. Sungkarat


Dynamic Causal Modeling (DCM) functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) is a promising technique to study the connectivity among brain regions and effects of stimuli through modeling neuronal interactions from time-series neuroimaging. The aim of this study is to study characteristics of a mirror neuron system (MNS) in elderly group (age: 60-70 years old). Twenty volunteers were MRI scanned with visual stimuli to study a functional brain network. DCM was employed to determine the mechanism of mirror neuron effects. The results revealed major activated areas including precentral gyrus, inferior parietal lobule, inferior occipital gyrus, and supplementary motor area. When visual stimuli were presented, the feed-forward connectivity from visual area to conjunction area was increased and forwarded to motor area. Moreover, the connectivity from the conjunction areas to premotor area was also increased. Such findings can be useful for future diagnostic process for elderly with diseases such as Parkinson-s and Alzheimer-s.

Keywords: Mirror Neuron System (MNS), Dynamic Causal Modeling (DCM), Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI)

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