Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we investigated the effect of motor preparation/execution on the activation of visual cortical areas by action observation. We presented videos of human actors performing several fine manipulative actions (e.g., grasping) with the hand or foot, together with appropriate control stimuli. Subjects either responded in a central fixation task with the hand (A) or foot (B) or viewed the stimuli passively (C). Experimental conditions were arranged according to a 2 × 2 × 3 factorial design with action, effector, and response as factors. Bilateral posterior parietal cortex was more strongly activated for action videos compared with controls during active runs (A or B) contrasted with passive runs (C). Two neighboring regions in the right fusiform gyrus (FG) were activated when the effector employed to respond in the task matched that displayed in the videos (A or B), independently of whether the stimulus was an action or a control. Neighboring regions in the right posterior middle temporal gyrus (MTG) were also activated when the effector observed and that used to respond matched (A or B), but only for action videos, not controls. Our results indicate flexible modulation of visual areas during concurrent action observation and action execution/preparation, which was effector specific in the FG and MTG.