Mirror neurons: brain regions
Professor Christian Keysers explains that mirror neurons can be found in many regions of the brain.
The regions involved in the mirror system really depend on the kind of stimuli you are looking at. So if you are looking at people getting touched, some of the sensory areas of your own brain will become active. If you are watching someone for instance playing football, obviously parts involved in making actions like the pre-motor cortex and the posterior parietal cortex become activated. And if you see peopleâ€™s emotions, for instance disgust, what you will activate is the interior insula thatâ€™s involved in having the same emotion. So overall a lot of parts of the brain can be recruited while you witness the experiences of other people, and what area will become involved freely depends on what you are seeing. The only things seeming to absolutely not to be recruited while you are witnessing other peopleâ€™s actions is your primary motor cortex, namely the cortex that would directly control your muscles, and thatâ€™s why under normal conditions if you see someone do something, you donâ€™t always puppeteer what that person would have done yourself.
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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.
Professor Christian Keysers discusses the proposed association between autism and mirror neurons, a very hot topic in autism research.
Professor Christian Keysers discusses the hypothesis linking autism, mirror neurons, and synaptic proteins.
Professor Christian Keysers discusses experiments associating mirror neurons with experiencing and witnessing emotion.
Professor Christian Keysers discusses evidence that mirror neuron systems are necessary for processing emotions.
Professor Christian Keysers explains that information is processed by a number of different regions in the brain that are connected by circuits.
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.
Professor Christian Keysers discusses the hypothesis that babbling in infants may actually be the way a child trains its mirror neuron system.
Abnormalities in a specific type of brain cells called mirror neurons have been associated with autism.
The premotor cortex is involved in preparing and executing limb movements and coordinates with other regions to select appropriate movements.