What Do Mirror Neurons Contribute to Human Social Cognition?

Mind and Language 23 (2):190-223 (2008)
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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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Pierre Jacob
Institut Jean Nicod

Citations of this work

Mirror Neurons and Social Cognition.Shannon Spaulding - 2013 - Mind and Language 28 (2):233-257.
On Whether we Can See Intentions.Shannon Spaulding - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (2):150-170.
Empathy, Simulation, and Narrative.Shaun Gallagher - 2012 - Science in Context 25 (3):355-381.
Theory-Theory and the Direct Perception of Mental States.Jane Suilin Lavelle - 2012 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 3 (2):213-230.

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