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The Neuroscience of Social Interaction: Decoding, Imitating, and Influencing the Actions of Others

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Overview

Humans, like other primates, are intensely social creatures. One of the main functions of our brains is to to enable us to be as skilful in our social interactions as we are in our interactions with the physical world. Any differences between human brains and those of our nearest relatives, the great apes, are likely to be linked to our unique achievements in social interaction and communication rather than our motor or perceptual skills. For only humans have the ability to mentalize (or mind read), that is to perceive and communicate mental states, such as beliefs and desires. A key problem facing neuroscience is to uncover the biological mechanisms underlying our ability to read other minds and to show how these mechanisms evolved. To solve this problem we need to do experiments in which people (or animals) interact with one another rather than behaving in isolation. Such experiments are now being conducted in increasing numbers and many of the leading exponents of such experiments have contributed to this volume. The Neuroscience of Social Interaction takes on important step in uncovering the biological mechanisms underlying social interactions - undoubtedly one of the major programmes for neuroscience in the twenty-first century.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198529262
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 3/28/2004
  • Pages: 364
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 6.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Contributors
Introduction: the study of social interactions
1 Electrophysiology and brain imaging of biological motion 1
2 Teleological and referential understanding of action in infancy 23
3 Development and neurophysiology of mentalizing 45
4 Mathematical modelling of animate and intentional motion 77
5 What imitation tells us about social cognition: a rapprochement between developmental psychology and cognitive neuroscience 109
6 Action generation and action perceptionin imitation: an instance of the ideomotor principle 131
7 The manifold nature of interpersonal relations: the quest for a common mechanism 159
8 Imitation as behaviour parsing 183
9 Computational approaches to motor learning by imitation 199
10 Detecting agents 219
11 Facial expressions, their communicatory functions and neuro-cognitive substrates 241
12 Models of dyadic social interaction 265
13 Dressing the mind properly for the game 283
14 A unifying computational framework for motor control and social interaction 305
Index 323
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