A Neurocomputational Model of an Imitation Deficit following Brain Lesion
This paper investigates the neural mechanisms of visuo-motor imitation in humans through convergent evidence from neuroscience. In particular, we consider a deficit in imitation following callosal brain lesion, based on the rational that looking at how imitation is impaired can unveil its underlying neural principles. We ground the functional architecture and information flow of our model in brain imaging studies and use findings from monkey brain neurophysiological studies to drive the choice of implementation of our processing modules. Our neural model of visuo-motor imitation is based on self-organizing maps with associated activities. Patterns of impairment of the model, realized by adding uncertainty in the transfer of information between the networks, account for the scores found in a clinical examination of imitation (Goldenberg et al, 01). The model also allows several interesting predictions.