Emotion and mirror neurons (2)
Professor Christian Keysers discusses evidence that mirror neuron systems are necessary for processing emotions.
Itâ€™s very difficult to actually know what systems are really necessary for a task like social cognition, and the reason is quite simple; imagine you have a car, and thereâ€™s a stoplight at the back. Each time you stop or you decelerate this light goes on. But if I were to ask you is the light actually necessary for slowing down the car, if you wouldnâ€™t know about cars a very simple way to find out (especially if itâ€™s a friendâ€™s car) you could take a hammer, break the red light in the back and see whether the car can still decelerate. If the car can still decelerate it wasnâ€™t necessary, if it stops decelerating you know that the light was necessary. Now obviously in humans thatâ€™s a lot harder to do, because if we localize an area to contain mirror neurons, we canâ€™t just take a hammer and break that area and see if people will still socialize. So quite honestly the evidence we have is relatively meager; one thing we do know is that patients with lesions in the insula lose two faculties; one is the faculty to feel disgust themselves, so you can give them a glass of rotten milk and theyâ€™ll drink it quite happily, and the other thing is if you show them a photo of a happy person they can tell you the person is happy, show them a photo of a sad person they can tell you that person is sad. But if you show them a picture of a disgusted person, a photo of someone having the emotion they can no longer have, they are incapable of telling you that person is disgusted. So from that we seem to see that mirror [neuron] systems for certain emotions for instance, are really necessary to understand this emotion in other people.
mirror neurons, emotions, mirror systems, social cognition, insula, disgust, christian, keysers
- ID: 1970
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1971. Mirror neurons: brain regions
Professor Christian Keysers explains that mirror neurons can be found in many regions of the brain.
1968. Emotion and mirror neurons (1)
Professor Christian Keysers discusses experiments associating mirror neurons with experiencing and witnessing emotion.
1974. Biochemistry of autism (mirror neurons)
Professor Christian Keysers discusses the hypothesis linking autism, mirror neurons, and synaptic proteins.
1972. Mirror neurons and autism
Professor Christian Keysers discusses the proposed association between autism and mirror neurons, a very hot topic in autism research.
An overview of language-related content on Genes to Cognition Online.
1965. Mirror neurons and empathy
Professor Christian Keysers explains that because mirror neurons activate when we witness other people's actions and emotions, they may play an important role in feelings of empathy.
1966. Mirror neurons and language acquisition
Professor Christian Keysers discusses the hypothesis that babbling in infants may actually be the way a child trains its mirror neuron system.
1962. Mirror neurons: a definition
Professor Christian Keysers explains that mirror neurons in the premotor cortex respond when we perform an action and also when we see someone else perform that action. This is similar to empathy.
852. Mirror Neurons and Empathy
Empathy, research indicates, is made possible by a special group of nerve cells called mirror neurons.
871. Mirror Neurons and Autism (2)
Abnormalities in a specific type of brain cells called mirror neurons have been associated with autism.