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More questions for mirror neurons

Borg, E. (2013) More questions for mirror neurons. Consciousness and Cognition, 22 (3). pp. 1122-1131. ISSN 1053-8100

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.concog.2012.11.013

Abstract/Summary

The mirror neuron system is widely held to provide direct access to the motor goals of others. This paper critically investigates this idea, focusing on the so-called ‘intentional worry’. I explore two answers to the intentional worry: first that the worry is premised on too limited an understanding of mirror neuron behaviour (Sections 2 and 3), second that the appeal made to mirror neurons can be refined in such a way as to avoid the worry (Section 4). I argue that the first response requires an account of the mechanism by which small-scale gestures are supposedly mapped to larger chains of actions but that none of the extant accounts of this mechanism are plausible. Section 4 then briefly examines refinements of the mirror neuron-mindreading hypothesis which avoid the intentional worry. I conclude that these refinements may well be plausible but that they undermine many of the claims standardly made for mirror neurons.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Centre for Cognition Research (CCR)
Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Humanities > Philosophy
ID Code:31256
Publisher:Elsevier

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