Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Imitation is at the heart of social cognitive neuroscience. It is a neurocognitive process that bridges the gap between minds; powers cognitive and social development; promotes cooperation and well-being; and provides a channel of cultural inheritance. The papers in this theme issue review cutting-edge research on imitation and report original data using all of the principal methodologies, including comparative, developmental, cognitive-behavioural and neurological techniques. This paper introduces these interdisciplinary contributions and, proposing that the field currently has four inter-related foci--correspondence, control, cooperation and cultural inheritance--offers an overview of the state-of-the-art in research on the mechanisms and functions of imitation.

Original publication




Journal article


Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci

Publication Date





2293 - 2298


Biological Evolution, Cognition, Culture, Humans, Imitative Behavior, Neurosciences, Social Behavior