Cognitive Neuroscience


Brain and cognition




Formal publication: December 2021

Authors: Miranda, M., Gonzalez Campo, C., Birba, A., Neely, A., Toro-Hernández, F. D., Faure, E., Rojas, G. M., Ibáñez, A., & García, A. 
Abstract: Patients with atrophy in motor brain regions exhibit selective deficits in processing action-related meanings, suggesting a link between movement conceptualization and the amount of regional tissue. Here we examine such a relation in a unique opposite model: a rare patient with a double cortex (due to subcortical band heterotopia) in primary/supplementary motor regions, and no double cortex in multimodal semantic regions. We measured behavioral performance in action- and object-concept processing as well and resting-state functional connectivity. Both dimensions involved comparisons with healthy controls. Results revealed preserved accuracy in action and object categories for the patient. However, unlike controls, the patient exhibited faster performance for action than object concepts, a difference that was uninfluenced by general cognitive abilities. Moreover, this pattern was accompanied by heightened functional connectivity between the bilateral primary motor cortices. This suggests that a functionally active double motor cortex may entail action-processing advantages. Our findings offer new constraints for models of action semantics and motor-region function at large.