Mirror neurons are thought to provide an internal motor template that is crucially involved in social cognition: the perception of others’ behavior, in fact, activates in the observer the same motor representations used during the execution of the behavior. Having been identifed by means of this straightforward explanation of how the brain codes others’ behavior, mirror neurons have since been proposed to be evolutionary conserved, although, in order to develop, they rely highly on interactions in the social environment. Nevertheless, since phylogenetically and ontogenetically acquired phenotypic traits have been classically considered to be the result of distinct and opposite processes (Wimsatt 1986), relevant questions arise from these observations: How did neurons with such peculiar properties emerge in natural history? What are the endogenous (i.e., genetic) and exogenous (i.e., environment) factors involved in the development of these neurons, and to what extent do such factors infuence mirror neuron development during the life of the organism? Further, how would a “mirror neuron system” interact with other brain areas, and to what extent might these interactions support additional important functions?

Epigenetic regulation of mirror neuron development, and related evolutionary hypotheses

Tramacere, Antonella
Primo
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
;
2016

Abstract

Mirror neurons are thought to provide an internal motor template that is crucially involved in social cognition: the perception of others’ behavior, in fact, activates in the observer the same motor representations used during the execution of the behavior. Having been identifed by means of this straightforward explanation of how the brain codes others’ behavior, mirror neurons have since been proposed to be evolutionary conserved, although, in order to develop, they rely highly on interactions in the social environment. Nevertheless, since phylogenetically and ontogenetically acquired phenotypic traits have been classically considered to be the result of distinct and opposite processes (Wimsatt 1986), relevant questions arise from these observations: How did neurons with such peculiar properties emerge in natural history? What are the endogenous (i.e., genetic) and exogenous (i.e., environment) factors involved in the development of these neurons, and to what extent do such factors infuence mirror neuron development during the life of the organism? Further, how would a “mirror neuron system” interact with other brain areas, and to what extent might these interactions support additional important functions?
New Frontiers in Mirror Neuron Research
222
244
Tramacere, Antonella; Ferrari, P. Francesco; Iriki, Atsushi.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/844690
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