The mirror neuron system and the consequences of its dysfunction

  title={The mirror neuron system and the consequences of its dysfunction},
  author={Marco Iacoboni and Mirella Dapretto},
  journal={Nature Reviews Neuroscience},
The discovery of premotor and parietal cells known as mirror neurons in the macaque brain that fire not only when the animal is in action, but also when it observes others carrying out the same actions provides a plausible neurophysiological mechanism for a variety of important social behaviours, from imitation to empathy. Recent data also show that dysfunction of the mirror neuron system in humans might be a core deficit in autism, a socially isolating condition. Here, we review the… 
Mirror Neurons: Findings and Functions
Mirror neurons (MNs) are a set of premotor neurons that fire both during the performance of a motor action, and the observation of someone else performing the same action. Since their discovery, they
The Human Mirror Neuron System, Social Control, and Language
Basic findings on the mirror system are discussed, noting how the frontal mirror region coincides with Broca’s area, a language region in the brain, leading some to propose that the MNS may also play a role in language and gesture abilities.
The mirror system and its role in social cognition
Mirror neuron system
The involvement of mirror neuron system (MNS) is implicated in neurocognitive functions (social cognition, language, empathy, theory of mind) and neuropsychiatric disorders and brain imaging studies reveal that action observation in humans activates the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), lower part of the precentral gyrus, the rostral part ofThe IPL and also the temporal, occipital and parietal visual areas.
The mirror neuron system: New frontiers
Papers using a wide range of methods, including single cell recordings, fMRI, TMS, EEG and psychophysics, collected in this special issue, start to give some impressive answers to the main topics of Social Neuroscience.
Effects of sensorimotor learning on the human mirror neuron system
It is concluded that sensorimotor learning can reconfigure the human mirror neuron system, and that it is, therefore, a mechanism through which the mirror neurons system can acquire its ability to match observed with performed actions.
Making sense of mirror neurons
This paper defends the idea that mirror neurons are best conceived as components of a sensory system that has the function to perceive action, and that these neurons are part of a hitherto unrecognized “sixth sense”.
Somatosensation in social perception
This Review focuses the limelight of social neuroscience on a different set of brain regions: the somatosensory cortices, which have anatomical connections that enable them to have a role in visual and auditory social perception.


Imitation, mirror neurons and autism
Neurophysiological mechanisms underlying the understanding and imitation of action
Evidence for the existence of a system, the 'mirror system', that seems to serve this mapping function in primates and humans is discussed, and its implications for the understanding and imitation of action are explored.
The mirror-neuron system.
A neurophysiological mechanism appears to play a fundamental role in both action understanding and imitation, and those properties specific to the human mirror-neuron system that might explain the human capacity to learn by imitation are stressed.
Failure to deactivate in autism: the co-constitution of self and other
  • M. Iacoboni
  • Psychology, Biology
    Trends in Cognitive Sciences
  • 2006
EEG evidence for mirror neuron dysfunction in autism spectrum disorders.
Motor functions of the parietal lobe
Neural mechanisms of imitation
  • M. Iacoboni
  • Biology, Psychology
    Current Opinion in Neurobiology
  • 2005
Language within our grasp