Cereb Cortex. 2022 Dec 23:bhac504. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhac504. Online ahead of print.
Broadly congruent mirror neurons, responding to any grasp movement, and strictly congruent mirror neurons, responding only to specific grasp movements, have been reported in single-cell studies with primates. Delineating grasp properties in humans is essential to understand the human mirror neuron system with implications for behavior and social cognition. We analyzed electrocorticography data from a natural reach-and-grasp movement observation and delayed imitation task with 3 different natural grasp types of everyday objects. We focused on the classification of grasp types from high-frequency broadband mirror activation patterns found in classic mirror system areas, including sensorimotor, supplementary motor, inferior frontal, and parietal cortices. Classification of grasp types was successful during movement observation and execution intervals but not during movement retention. Our grasp type classification from combined and single mirror electrodes provides evidence for grasp-congruent activity in the human mirror neuron system potentially arising from strictly congruent mirror neurons.