The aim of this book is to bring together social scientists, cognitive scientists, psychologists, neuroscientists, neuropsychologists and others to promote a dialogue about the variety of processes involved in social cognition, as well as the relevance of mirroring neural systems to those processes. Social cognition is a broad discipline that encompasses many issues not yet adequately addressed by neurobiologists. Yet, it is a strong belief that framing these issues in terms of the neural basis of social cognition, especially within an evolutionary perspective, can be a very fruitful strategy. This book includes some of the leading thinkers in the nascent field of mirroring processes and reflects the authors’ attempts to till common ground from a variety of perspectives. The book raises contrary views and addresses some of the most vexing yet core questions in the field – providing the basis for extended discussion among interested readers and laying down guidelines for future research. It has been argued that interaction with members of one’s own social group enhances cognitive development in primates and especially humans (Barrett & Henzi, 2005). Byrne and Whiten (1988), Donald (1991), and others have speculated that abilities such as cooperation, deception, and imitation led to increasingly complex social interactions among primates resulting in a tremendous expansion of the cerebral cortex. The evolutionary significance of an imitation capability in primates is matched by its ontological consequences.
Table of ContentsPreface Contributors Part I: What Is Imitation? 1. Unifying Social Cognition Christian Keysers and Valeria Gazzola 2. Reflections on the Mirror Neuron System: Their Evolutionary Functions Beyond Motor Representation Lindsay M. Oberman and V.S. Ramachandran Part II: Developmental Aspects 3. The Neurophysiology of Early Motor Resonance François Champoux, Jean-François Lepage, Christine Désy, Mélissa Lortie and Hugo Théoret 4. The Rational Continuum of Human Imitation Derek E. Lyons Part III: Neural Basis 5. From Embodied Representation to Co-Regulation Gün R. Semin and John T. Cacioppo 6. The Problem of Other Minds Is Not a Problem: Mirror Neurons and Intersubjectivity Marco Iacoboni 7. Hierarchically Organized 'Mirroring' Processes in Social Cognition: The Functional Neuroanatomy of Empathy Jaime A. Pineda, Adrienne Moore, Hanie Elfenbein and Roy Cox Part IV: Relationship to Cognitive Processes 8. Mirror Neurons and the Neural Exploitation Hypothesis: From Embodied Simulation to Social Cognition Vittorio Gallese 9. From Imitation to Reciprocation and Mutual Recognition Philippe Rochat and Claudia Passos-Ferreira 10. Automatic and Controlled Processing Trevor T-J Chong and Jason B. Mattingley 11. Embodied Perspective on Emotion-Cognition Interactions Piotr Winkielman, Paula M. Niedenthal and Lindsay M. Oberman Part V: Disorders of Mirroring 12. The Role of Mirror Neuron Dysfunction in Autism Raphael Bernier and GeraldineDawson 13. Synaesthesia for Pain: Feeling Pain with Another Melita J. Giummarra and John L. Bradshaw Part VI: Alternative Views 14. Mirroring, Mindreading, and Simulation Alvin I. Goldman 15. Does the Mirror Neuron System and Its Impairment Explain Human Imitation and Autism? Victoria Southgate, György Gergely and Gergely Csibra 16. Neural Simulation and Social Cognition Shaun Gallagher