Article

The Mirror Neuron System and Social Cognition

Christian Keysers, Marc Thioux and Valeria Gazzola

in The Oxford Handbook of Social Neuroscience

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780195342161
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195342161.013.0035

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 The Mirror Neuron System and Social Cognition

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  • Cognitive Neuroscience
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For many animals, the actions of other organisms are of critical importance. For humans in particular understanding the actions of others and the capacity to learn skills by observing the actions of a teacher are necessary foundation for the evolution of human cooperation and culture. The discovery of mirror neurons has laid a foundation for a neuroscientific understanding of how the brain processes the actions of others and similar systems may contribute to how we perceive the sensations and emotions of others. This chapter introduces the key methods used to investigate this system and reviews its properties, localization, and functions in monkeys and humans together with examples of its dysfunctions.

Keywords: sensations; emotions; perception; monkeys; mirror neurons

Article.  12542 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Neuroscience ; Social Psychology

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