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Implicit visual sensitivity towards slim versus overweight bodies modulates motor resonance in the primary motor cortex: A tDCS study

Makris, S and Cazzato, V (2020) Implicit visual sensitivity towards slim versus overweight bodies modulates motor resonance in the primary motor cortex: A tDCS study. Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience. ISSN 1530-7026

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Motor resonance (MR) can be influenced by individual differences and similarity in the physical appearance between the actor and observer. Recently, we reported that action simulation is modulated by an implicit visual sensitivity towards normal-weight compared with overweight bodies. Furthermore, recent research has suggested the existence of an action observation network responsible for MR, with limited evidence whether the primary motor cortex (M1) is part of this. We expanded our previous findings with regards to the role of an implicit normal-weight-body preference in the MR mechanism. At the same time, we tested the functional relevance of M1 to MR, by using a transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) protocol. Seventeen normal-weight and 17 overweight participants were asked to observe normal-weight or overweight actors reaching and grasping a light or heavy cube, and then, at the end of each video-clip to indicate the correct cube weight. Before the task, all participants received 15 min of sham or cathodal tDCS over the left M1. Measures of anti-fat attitudes were also collected. During sham tDCS, all participants were better in simulating the actions performed by normal-weight compared with overweight models. Surprisingly, cathodal tDCS selectively improved the ability in the overweight group to simulate actions performed by the overweight models. This effect was not associated with scores of fat phobic attitudes or implicit anti-fat bias. Our findings are discussed in the context of relevance of M1 to MR and its social modulation by anti-fat attitudes.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1109 Neurosciences, 1701 Psychology, 1702 Cognitive Sciences
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Divisions: Psychology (from Sep 2019)
Publisher: Springer
Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2020 11:20
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2021 06:17
DOI or ID number: 10.3758/s13415-020-00850-0
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/14121
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