Mirror neuron system: basic findings and clinical applications.

TitleMirror neuron system: basic findings and clinical applications.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsIacoboni, M, Mazziotta JC
JournalAnnals of neurology
Date Published2007 Sep
KeywordsAnimals, Autistic Disorder, cerebral cortex, Hand, Humans, Learning, Macaca, Mouth, Movement, Neurons, Social Behavior, Stroke, Visual Perception

In primates, ventral premotor and rostral inferior parietal neurons fire during the execution of hand and mouth actions. Some cells (called mirror neurons) also fire when hand and mouth actions are just observed. Mirror neurons provide a simple neural mechanism for understanding the actions of others. In humans, posterior inferior frontal and rostral inferior parietal areas have mirror properties. These human areas are relevant to imitative learning and social behavior. Indeed, the socially isolating condition of autism is associated with a deficit in mirror neuron areas. Strategies inspired by mirror neuron research recently have been used in the treatment of autism and in motor rehabilitation after stroke.

Alternate JournalAnn. Neurol.