Biochemistry of autism (mirror neurons)

Professor Christian Keysers discusses the hypothesis linking autism, mirror neurons, and synaptic proteins.

Now one of the interesting links of autism to the mirror [neuron] system is this idea that I presented before that maybe we train up our mirror [neuron] system by observing our own actions. To do this, what you need is a brain that can optimally learn to associate things that happened together at the synaptic level. Now there is more and more evidence that in certain cases of autism at least show this function in synaptic proteins, and these synaptic proteins are essential in learning. So it could be that part of why autism may have problems in the mirror [neuron] system when social cognition actually relies on much more fundamental dysfunctions at the synaptic level that make it harder for them to understand what belongs together or what happens together. And these kinds of general dysfunctions would have big consequences in the social domain, because you would find it a lot more difficult to link the sight of an action with the motor program for an action.

mirror neurons, cases of autism, biochemistry, christian, keysers

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1972. Mirror neurons and autism

Professor Christian Keysers discusses the proposed association between autism and mirror neurons, a very hot topic in autism research.

  • ID: 1974
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1963. Mirror neurons: expanded definition

Professor Christian Keysers explains the mirror neuron may be explained by the "what fires together, wires together" principle.

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1968. Emotion and mirror neurons (1)

Professor Christian Keysers discusses experiments associating mirror neurons with experiencing and witnessing emotion.

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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.

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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.

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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.

  • ID: 1974
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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.

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  • ID: 1974
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1970. Emotion and mirror neurons (2)

Professor Christian Keysers discusses evidence that mirror neuron systems are necessary for processing emotions.

  • ID: 1974
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1961. Brain circuits

Professor Christian Keysers explains that information is processed by a number of different regions in the brain that are connected by circuits.

  • ID: 1974
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