From grasping to complex imitation: mirror systems on the path to language

Mind and Society 7 (1):43-64 (2007)
Abstract
We focus on the evolution of action capabilities which set the stage for language, rather than analyzing how further brain evolution built on these capabilities to yield a language-ready brain. Our framework is given by the Mirror System Hypothesis, which charts a progression from a monkey-like mirror neuron system (MNS) to a chimpanzee-like mirror system that supports simple imitation and thence to a human-like mirror system that supports complex imitation and language. We present the MNS2 model, a new model of action recognition learning by mirror neurons of the macaque brain and augmented competitive queuing, a model of opportunistic scheduling of action sequences as background for analysis of modeling strategies for simple imitation as seen in the great apes and complex/goal-directed imitation as seen in humans. Implications for the study of language are briefly noted
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References found in this work BETA
Amanda Seed & Michael Tomasello (2010). Primate Cognition. Topics in Cognitive Science 2 (3):407-419.
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