Associative learning alone is insufficient for the evolution and maintenance of the human mirror neuron system.

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TitleAssociative learning alone is insufficient for the evolution and maintenance of the human mirror neuron system.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsOberman, LM, Hubbard, EM, McCleery, JP
JournalBehav Brain Sci
Volume37
Issue2
Pagination212-3
Date Published2014 Apr
ISSN1469-1825
KeywordsAnimals, Biological Evolution, Brain, Humans, Learning, Mirror Neurons, Social Perception
Abstract

Cook et al. argue that mirror neurons originate from associative learning processes, without evolutionary influence from social-cognitive mechanisms. We disagree with this claim and present arguments based upon cross-species comparisons, EEG findings, and developmental neuroscience that the evolution of mirror neurons is most likely driven simultaneously and interactively by evolutionarily adaptive psychological mechanisms and lower-level biological mechanisms that support them.

DOI10.1017/S0140525X13002422
Alternate JournalBehav Brain Sci
PubMed ID24775170
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