Making sense of mirror neurons

Synthese 167 (3):439 - 456 (2009)

Abstract

The discovery of mirror neurons has been hailed as one of the most exciting developments in neuroscience in the past few decades. These neurons discharge in response to the observation of others’ actions. But how are we to understand the function of these neurons? In this paper I defend the idea that mirror neurons are best conceived as components of a sensory system that has the function to perceive action. In short, mirror neurons are part of a hitherto unrecognized “sixth sense”. In this spirit, research should move toward developing a psychophysics of mirror neurons.

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2009-01-28

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Author's Profile

Lawrence Shapiro
University of Wisconsin, Madison

References found in this work

Action in Perception.Alva Noë - 2005 - MIT Press.
The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception.Marc H. Bornstein - 1980 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 39 (2):203-206.
A Sensorimotor Account of Vision and Visual Consciousness.J. Kevin O’Regan & Alva Noë - 2001 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (5):883-917.
The Senses Considered as Perceptual Systems.Charles K. West & James J. Gibson - 1969 - Journal of Aesthetic Education 3 (1):142.

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