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LAMI and IMAGING Project

Recent evidence suggests that cognitive systems do not operate in isolation but interact with each other. This conceptualization of cognition and brain functioning opens new windows on fundamental and applied clinical research, and such interactions can be exploited to design new complementary rehabilitation programs. This is the case of language comprehension and motor systems, for which deep relationships have been demonstrated

(Pulvermüller & Fadiga, 2010 for a review).  For instance, motor system training (e.g., sport, origami training) can facilitate action verb recognition (Beilock et al., 2008; Locatelli et al., 2012), whereas motor system perturbation (e.g., upper limb immobilisation, Bidet-Ildei et al., 2017) can alter ACTION LANGUAGE -AL- processing. Likewise, processing language about actions has been shown to affect motor performance (Kaschak et al., 2005; Zwaan & Madden, 2004). Grounded and situated approaches attribute this effect to an automatic simulation of the motor experience evoked by action words, similar to MOTOR IMAGERY -MI- (Barsalou, 2008, 2010; Pulvermüller, 2018) and suggest shared motor representations and action conceptualization. This mechanism is related to the generation of an action plan (i.e., inverse model) as well as to the prediction of the action’s sensory consequences (i.e., forward model), as previously proposed in covert verbal production, for instance (Lœvenbruck, et al., 2018; Perrone-Bertolotti et al., 2014, 2016). In the motor domain this mechanism has been applied by using MI-training in athletes and musicians as well as in stroke patients as a rehabilitation method (Ladda et al., 2021 for a review). In all these cases, MI-training showed motor performance improvements (Malouin, Jackson, & Richards, 2013 for a review) and brain modification (cortical plasticity, Ruffino, Papaxanthis, & Lebon, 2017). We hypothesize that similar effects could be expected with a cross-system-rehabilitation program in the language domain by using MI-training (see Mosca et al., 2014 for a similar program in the domain of verbal memory and language production).

In this project we aim to decipher the functional relationship between AL and MI and to propose innovative behavioral training programs in order to improve motor learning and language comprehension performance. This project stands to make significant advances, not only in fundamental research on the interaction between language and motor system, but also in applied domains, providing novel and comprehensive perspectives on training methods.  These programs could later be tested and implemented in therapeutic (motor rehabilitation, aging populations) as well as developmental settings (reading and language learning). 


LPNC (CNRS, UMR 5105) from Grenoble Alpes University 

CAPS (INSERM 1093) from the Bourgogne University  

Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières 


  • Institut Universitaire de France (IUF) 

  • Agence National de la Recherche (ANR)



  • Bonnet, C*., Bayram, M*., El Bouzaïdi Tiali, S., Lebon, F., Harquel, S., Palluel-Germain, R & Perrone-Bertolott, M. (2022)  Kinesthetic Motor-Imagery Training Improves Performance on Lexical-Semantic Access. PLOS ONE.

  • Bayram, M.; Palluel-Germain, R.; Lebon, F.; Durand, E.; Harquel, S. & Perrone-Bertolotti, M (2023) Motor Imagery Training to Improve Language Processing: What are the Arguments? Front. Hum. Neurosci. - Motor Neuroscience.



We recently propose a special issue related to the topic of the IMAGING project called Covert Actions: A Window Into Human Behavior for which two members of the project are Editors: F. Lebon and M. Perrone-Bertolotti

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