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Mirror mechanism is a basic mechanism that transforms sensory representations into a motor format. In the first part of my talk I will describe the functions of the mirror mechanism that is located in the parieto-frontal network of the macaque monkey. I will present then human data on the same network discussing the specific way in which the mirror mechanism enables us to understand others. This mechanism mediates what, with Corrado Sinigaglia, I named “understanding others from inside”. In the third part of my talk I will discuss the role of the mirror mechanism in understanding the basic Darwinian emotions and the subtle emotional states that Daniel Stern called “vitality forms”. I will conclude discussing the link between the motor system, including the mirror system, and autistic spectrum disorder.

 

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