Gordon G. Gallup, James R. Anderson and Steven M. Platek

in The Oxford Handbook of the Self

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780199548019
Published online May 2011 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy


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This article focuses on mirror self-recognition, the ability to recognize one's own image in a mirror. It presents the result of the first experiment on mirror self-recognition which showed that chimpanzees are able to learn that the chimps they see in the mirror are not other chimps, but themselves, as evidenced by self-directed behaviour. It reviews evidence for neural network for self-recognition and self-other differentiation and cites evidence that frontal cortex and cortical midline structures are implicated in self-recognition tasks. It also suggests that the mirror self-recognition ability correlates to large brain size relative to the animal's body size.

Keywords: mirror self-recognition; chimpanzees; self-directed behaviour; self-other differentiation; frontal cortex; brain size

Article.  13412 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Philosophy of Science ; Epistemology

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