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Understanding Other MindsPerspectives from developmental social neuroscience$
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Simon Baron-Cohen, Michael Lombardo, and Helen Tager-Flusberg

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199692972

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199692972.001.0001

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The mirror mechanism

The mirror mechanism

Understanding others from the inside

(p.264) Chapter 15 The mirror mechanism
Understanding Other Minds

Giacomo Rizzolatti

Maddalena Fabbri-Destro

Oxford University Press

There are several ways in which one can understand action, intention and emotion of others. There is however only one way in which others can be understood “from inside”. This way is based on the activation of the mirror mechanism. When an individual sees an action done by another individual, mirror neurons are activated. This activation ignites a complex motor network that transforms sensory information into a motor copy of the observed action. This activation is similar to that endogenously elicited during motor execution or during emotions determined by natural stimuli. In this chapter we will illustrate the mirror mechanism and discuss the possible relation between the mirror mechanism and autism.

Keywords:   Mirror neurons, The mirror mechanism, Autism, Goal coding, Intention understanding, Emotion sharing, Imitation

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