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Mirror Neurons

  • By: Günther Knoblich & Natalie Sebanz
  • In: Encyclopedia of Perception
  • Edited by: E. Bruce Goldstein
  • Subject:Sensation & Perception

Mirror neurons discharge both when a macaque monkey performs an object-directed action, such as grasping a peanut, and when the monkey observes another individual performing the same action, such as when the monkey sees the experimenter grasp a peanut. Thus, these neurons “mirror” others' actions as if one would perform them oneself, providing a previously unexpected, direct link between individuals. This entry summarizes the most important findings on mirror neurons in monkeys and related findings on mirroring in humans.

Basic Findings

Using single cell recording, mirror neurons have, so far, been discovered in two areas of the macaque brain: first in area F5 of the inferior frontal cortex (ventral premotor cortex) and later in the inferior parietal lobule (IPL). These two brain areas work in concert and ...

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