Mirror Neurons and Their Reflections


Human mirror neuron system is believed to provide the basic mechanism for social cognition. Mirror neurons were first discovered in 1990s in the premotor area (F5) of macaque monkeys. Besides the premotor area, mirror neuron systems, having different functions depending on their locations, are found in various cortical areas. In addition, the importance of cingulate cortex in mother-infant relationship is clearly emphasized in the literature. Functional magnetic resonance imaging, electroencephalography, transcortical magnetic stimulation are the modalities used to evaluate the, activity of mirror neurons; for instance, mu wave suppression in electroencephalography recordings is considered as an evidence of mirror neuron activity. Mirror neurons have very important functions such as language processing, comprehension, learning, social interaction and empathy. For example, autistic individuals have less mirror neuron activity; therefore, it is thought that they have less ability of empathy. Responses of mirror neurons to object-directed and non-object directed actions are different and non-object directed action is required for the activation of mirror neurons. Previous researchers find significantly more suppression during the observation of object-directed movements as compared to mimed actions.

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Cabioglu, M. and Iseri, S. (2015) Mirror Neurons and Their Reflections. Open Access Library Journal, 2, 1-7. doi: 10.4236/oalib.1102001.

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The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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