CCNi

Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging

Ever since the discovery of mirror neurons in monkeys, which were found to activate during action control as well as during action observation, it has been debated if and how their existence and function translates to humans. Large parts of research and discussion have been devoted to the identification and measurement of actual mirror neurons, a mirror system, or a mirror mechanism in humans. While these discussions are of course important, here we aim at discussing the wider implications of such a capacity, assuming that it exists in some form or another. We therefore dedicate this debate toThe Meaning of Mirror Neurons and we aim at discussing their potential role in development, evolution, mental simulation, social interaction, and theory of mind.

Debate Questions

  • To what extent is the Mirror Neuron System (MNS) hard-wired or malleable (re-trainable) and how does this define/impact on the relationship between the MNS and phylo- and ontogenesis?
  • What is the role of the MNS in social interaction and joint action? What exactly is the mapping between self and other, e.g. is it a direct 1:1, or a complementary mapping, or both? How does this relate to the answer to Q1?
  • Do all kinds of mental simulation recruit the MNS (e.g. mentally simulating the mechanics of a combustion engine)? What is the relationship between ‘embodied’ cognition and the MNS? (What is the relationship between MNS and other bodily representations such as the body schema?)
  • What can the MNS tell us about empathy, mentalizing and particularly about the deliberate and conscious processes of theory of mind (ToM)?



Speakers

harold

Harold Bekkering

 

 geoff-bird

 

Geoff Bird


 

 

gallese

Vittorio Gallese

 

sebanz

 

Natalie Sebanz

 

 

Moderator

perret David Perrett
 
simon Simon Garrod klaus Klaus Kessler

 

Schedule

12:00-12:50       Registration and Welcome Lunch

12:50-13:00       Welcome from co-ordinators, Simon Garrod and Klaus Kessler

13:00-13:30       Harold Bekkering

13:30-14:00       Geoff Bird

14:00-14:30       Vittorio Gallese

14:30-15:00       Natalie Sebanz

15:00-15:30       Tea/Coffee break

15:30-17:30       Debate

17:30                Buffet reception

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Location

Date

Senate Room, University of Glasgow

directions

25th October. 12 noon - 17:30

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Facilities Labs TMS Suite Uncategorised Social Interaction Debate - The Meaning of Mirror Neurons