CCNi Debates

THE MEANING OF MIRROR NEURONS

Ever since the discovery of mirror neurons in monkeys, which were found to activate during action control as well as during action observation, it has been debated if and how their existence and function translates to humans. Large parts of research and discussion have been devoted to the identification and measurement of actual mirror neurons, a mirror system, or a mirror mechanism in humans. While these discussions are of course important, here we aim at discussing the wider implications of such a capacity, assuming that it exists in some form or another. We therefore dedicate this debate to “The Meaning of Mirror Neurons” and we aim at discussing their potential role in development, evolution, mental simulation, social interaction and theory of mind.