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The Mirror Neuron System and Imitation 

The Mirror Neuron System and Imitation

Chapter:
The Mirror Neuron System and Imitation
Author(s):

Marco Iacoboni

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780195371826.003.0063
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date: 20 August 2017

Imitation is a pervasive form of learning and transmission of culture and has been strongly associated with higher cognitive functions in humans, such as language and the ability to understand other minds. Recent neuroscience discoveries have revealed neuronal mechanisms that seem ideally suited for imitation. Inevitably, these two lines of research recently merged and provided the first wave of data on the neural mechanisms of imitation in patients with autism. This chapter discusses the cellular mechanisms of mirroring; mirroring neural systems and their role in imitation; and the mirror neuron hypothesis of autism.

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