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Mirror neurons have been hailed as the key to understanding social cognition. I argue that three currents of thought-relating to evolution, atomism and telepathy-have magnified the perceived importance of mirror neurons. When they are understood to be a product of associative learning, rather than an adaptation for social cognition, mirror neurons are no longer mesmerising, but they continue to raise important questions about both the psychology of science and the neural bases of social cognition.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.neuroimage.2010.02.034

Type

Journal article

Journal

Neuroimage

Publication Date

06/2010

Volume

51

Pages

789 - 791

Keywords

Animals, Association Learning, Biological Evolution, Brain, Humans, Neurons, Social Behavior