What do mirror neurons contribute to human social cognition?

Mind and Language 23 (2):190–223 (2008)
Abstract
According to an influential view, one function of mirror neurons (MNs), first discovered in the brain of monkeys, is to underlie third-person mindreading. This view relies on two assumptions: the activity of MNs in an observer’s brain matches (simulates or resonates with) that of MNs in an agent’s brain and this resonance process retrodictively generates a representation of the agent’s intention from a perception of her movement. In this paper, I criticize both assumptions and I argue instead that the activity of MNs in an observer’s brain is enhanced by a prior representation of the agent’s intention and that their task is to predictively compute the best motor command suitable to satisfy the agent’s intention.
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    References found in this work BETA
    Ralph Adolphs (1999). Social Cognition and the Human Brain. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 3 (12):469-479.

    View all 51 references

    Citations of this work BETA
    Joel Smith (2011). Can Transcendental Intersubjectivity Be Naturalised? Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 10 (1):91-111.

    View all 35 citations

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