LINGUIST List 14.211

Tue Jan 21 2003

Books: Anthro Ling/Neuroling: Stamenov, Gallese (eds.)

Editor for this issue: Marisa Ferrara <>

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  1. paul, Mirror Neurons and the Evolution of Brain and Language

Message 1: Mirror Neurons and the Evolution of Brain and Language

Date: Mon, 20 Jan 2003 14:52:45 +0000
From: paul <>
Subject: Mirror Neurons and the Evolution of Brain and Language

Title: Mirror Neurons and the Evolution of Brain and Language
Series Title: Advances in Consciousness Research 42
Publication Year: 2003
Publisher: John Benjamins,		 
Book URL:
Editor: Maxim I. Stamenov, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences 
Editor: Vittorio Gallese, Universit´┐Ż di Parma 
Hardback: ISBN: 158811242X, Pages: viii, 392 pp., Price: USD 99.00
Hardback: ISBN: 9027251665, Pages: viii, 392 pp., Price: EUR 99.00
Paperback: ISBN: 1588112152, Pages: viii, 392 pp., Price: USD 65.95
Paperback: ISBN: 9027251622, Pages: viii, 392 pp., Price: EUR 66.00

The emergence of language, social intelligence, and tool development
are what made homo sapiens sapiens differentiate itself from all other
biological species in the world. The use of language and the
management of social and instrumental skills imply an awareness of
intention and the consideration that one faces another individual with
an attitude analogical to that of ones own. The metaphor of mirror
aptly comes to mind.

Recent investigations have shown that the human ability to mirror
others actions originates in the brain at a much deeper level than
phenomenal awareness. A new class of neurons has been discovered in
the premotor area of the monkey brain: mirror neurons. Quite
remarkably, they are tuned to fire to the enaction as well as
observation of specific classes of behavior: fine manual actions and
actions performed by mouth. They become activated independent of the
agent, be it the self or a third person whose action is observed. The
activation in mirror neurons is automatic and binds the observation
and enaction of some behavior by the self or by the observed
other. The peculiar first-to-third-person intersubjectivity of the
performance of mirror neurons and their surprising complementarity to
the functioning of strategic communicative face-to-face
(first-to-second person) interaction may shed new light on the
functional architecture of conscious vs. unconscious mental
processes and the relationship between behavioral and communicative
action in monkeys, primates, and humans.

The present volume discusses the nature of mirror nqeurons as
presented by the research team of Prof. Giacomo Rizzolatti (University
of Parma), who originally discovered them, and the implications to our
understanding of the evolution of brain, mind and communicative
interaction in non-human primates and man.

Lingfield(s): Anthropological Linguistics

Written In: English (Language Code: ENG)

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