Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : When your favourite athlete flops over the high-jump bar, you may twist your body in front of the TV screen. Such automatic motor facilitation, 'mirroring' or even overt imitation is not always appropriate. Here, we show, by monitoring motor-cortex brain rhythms with magnetoencephalography (MEG) in healthy adults, that viewing intermittent hand actions of another person, in addition to activation, phasically stabilizes the viewer's primary motor cortex, with the maximum of half a second after the onset of the seen movement. Such a stabilization was evident as enhanced cortex-muscle coherence at 16-20 Hz, despite signs of almost simultaneous suppression of rolandic rhythms of approximately 7 and 15 Hz as a sign of activation of the sensorimotor cortex. These findings suggest that inhibition suppresses motor output during viewing another person's actions, thereby withholding unintentional imitation. © 2014 The Authors.