Pier Francesco Ferrari

Learn More
Inferior parietal lobule (IPL) neurons were studied when monkeys performed motor acts embedded in different actions and when they observed similar acts done by an experimenter. Most motor IPL neurons coding a specific act (e.g., grasping) showed markedly different activations when this act was part of different actions (e.g., for eating or for placing).(More)
Evidence suggests that there are differences in the capacity for empathy between males and females. However, how deep do these differences go? Stereotypically, females are portrayed as more nurturing and empathetic, while males are portrayed as less emotional and more cognitive. Some authors suggest that observed gender differences might be largely due to(More)
In the ventral premotor cortex (area F5) of the monkey there are neurons that discharge both when the monkey performs specific motor actions and when it observes another individual performing a similar action (mirror neurons). Previous studies on mirror neurons concerned hand actions. Here, we describe the mirror responses of F5 neurons that motorically(More)
The ethical dilemma in aggression research is how to reconcile two divergent objectives, namely to avoid harm and injury as much as possible and, at the same time, how to study behavioral phenomena that validly represent the essence of the neurobiology of aggression. Clinical and preclinical aggression research focuses on different types of aggression.(More)
In the present study, we describe a new type of visuomotor neurons, named tool-responding mirror neurons, which are found in the lateral sector of monkey ventral premotor area F5. Tool-responding mirror neurons discharge when the monkey observes actions performed by an experimenter with a tool (a stick or a pair of pliers). This response is stronger than(More)
The inferior part of the parietal lobe (IPL) is known to play a very important role in sensorimotor integration. Neurons in this region code goal-related motor acts performed with the mouth, with the hand and with the arm. It has been demonstrated that most IPL motor neurons coding a specific motor act (e.g., grasping) show markedly different activation(More)
Over the last few decades, comparative cognitive research has focused on the pinnacles of mental evolution, asking all-or-nothing questions such as which animals (if any) possess a theory of mind, culture, linguistic abilities, future planning, and so on. Research programs adopting this top-down perspective have often pitted one taxon against another,(More)
Mirror neurons are a class of visuomotor neurons in the monkey premotor and parietal cortices that discharge during the execution and observation of goal-directed motor acts. They are deemed to be at the basis of primates' social abilities. In this review, the authors provide a fresh view about two still open questions about mirror neurons. The first(More)
Human mothers interact emotionally with their newborns through exaggerated facial expressions, speech, mutual gaze, and body contact, a capacity that has long been considered uniquely human [1-4]. Current developmental psychological theories propose that this pattern of mother-infant exchange promotes the regulation of infant emotions [4-6] and serves as a(More)
Mirror neurons (MNs) were first discovered in monkeys and subsequently in humans and birds. While MNs are deemed to play a number of high-level cognitive functions, here we propose that they serve a unitary form of sensorimotor recognition of others' behavior. We caution that this basic function should not be confounded with the higher order functions that(More)