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Critique and Refinement of the Neurosociology of Mirror Neurons

Biosociology and Neurosociology

ISBN: 978-1-78190-256-1, eISBN: 978-1-78190-257-8

Publication date: 19 October 2012


Purpose – The purpose of this chapter is to be as comprehensive as possible about what is known about mirror neurons at this time.

Design/methodology/approach – This chapter offers a comprehensive critique including Churchland's hesitations about findings on mirror neurons (2011) which are balanced by Ramachandran's conviction that much of the research on mirror neurons is valid (2011). Following this is a summary of the results of the Mirror Neuron Forum (2011) wherein leading mirror neuron researchers exchange their views and conclusions about this subject.

Findings – The few single cells measures that we have show that they are much wider distributed throughout the brain than we have previously imagined. It should be stressed that single measures of mirror neurons have occurred albeit in limited situations. This establishes once and for all their relevance to humans.

Originality/value – The work on mirror neurons is a critical contribution from neuroscience to bringing the social brain into sociology and refining our understandings of intersubjectivity and of our biologically driven connections with others.



Franks, D.D. and Davis, J. (2012), "Critique and Refinement of the Neurosociology of Mirror Neurons", Kalkhoff, W., Thye, S.R. and Lawler, E.J. (Ed.) Biosociology and Neurosociology (Advances in Group Processes, Vol. 29), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 77-117.



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