Neurophysiological mechanisms underlying the understanding and imitation of action

@article{Rizzolatti2001NeurophysiologicalMU,
  title={Neurophysiological mechanisms underlying the understanding and imitation of action},
  author={Giacomo Rizzolatti and Leonardo Fogassi and Vittorio Gallese},
  journal={Nature Reviews Neuroscience},
  year={2001},
  volume={2},
  pages={661-670}
}
What are the neural bases of action understanding? Although this capacity could merely involve visual analysis of the action, it has been argued that we actually map this visual information onto its motor representation in our nervous system. Here we discuss evidence for the existence of a system, the 'mirror system', that seems to serve this mapping function in primates and humans, and explore its implications for the understanding and imitation of action. 
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  • G. Hickok
  • Biology, Psychology
    Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
  • 2009
TLDR
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The clinical implications of the mirror system are discussed, which is involved in understanding others' actions and their intentions behind them, and it underlies mechanisms of observational learning.
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A brain based model of observational learning that explains the similarities and differences in levels of activation of brain regions during observation and execution of actions is described.
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