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Mirroring Brains

Mirroring Brains
title Mirroring Brains
subtitle How we Understand Others from the Inside
Authors ,
Publisher Raffaello Cortina Editore
libro Book
Language Italian
Pages 180
ISBN MirroringBrains2018ITA


Ten years after the publications of So quel che fai (Mirrors in the Brains),
the authors update us on the latest findings,
providing a new theory of their role in social cognition

"Since their discovery in the mid-1990’s, mirror neurons have been one of the most intriguing and hotly debated topic in an amazing variety of disciplines, ranging from cognitive neuroscience and psychology to philosophy and anthropology. For this reason, we decided 10 years ago to write a book together in order to describe the functional properties of these apparently ‘magic’ neurons. The book had a great and long lasting success, with several translations in other languages. However, over the last few years a great deal of findings provided a much more detailed picture about the extent of mirror neurons and their properties. Indeed, mirror neurons have been found in very different species and in very different brain structures. And several studies suggested that they may function in a much more complex way than previously thought. This lead some scholars to advance doubts about the actual role of these neurons in cognition. Thus, a great challenge seems to urge anyone who is interested in the mirror story today, that is, providing a unitary account of the mirror mechanism and demonstrating whether and to what extent it might be involved in social cognition. Tackling this challenge is the main aim of this book. In doing this, we explore the properties of the mirror mechanism in both the action and emotion domains, by introducing and discussing some of the more recent and relevant findings. We also take in consideration what psychologists and psychiatrics variously labelled as vitality affects or forms.  Our main claim is that the mirror mechanism may provide an understanding of others’ actions, emotions and affects which can be mainly exploited just in ways that depend one’s own processes and representations involved in those actions, emotions and affects. What we think about others’ minds would be different if it were not for our abilities to represent our own actions, emotions and affects. The lack of these abilities may result in social impairment. This is the reason why we define the mirror-based understanding as an understanding from the inside. Such an understanding is not without consequences for our experiencing others. Indeed, it suggests that there are plausible aspects of phenomenal character that are common to experiences of our own and others’ actions, emotions and vitality forms, given that both experiences are shaped by the same processes and representations, or so we argue and provide evidence for".
The Authors


Textual index

Chapter 1. The Mirror Brain
Chapter 2. Mirror in Action
Chapter 3. Emotion and Vitality Affect
Chapter 4.  Mirroring and Reading Others’ Actions and Emotions 
Chapter 5. Understanding Others from the Inside

Authors biography

Giacomo Rizzolatti is responsible for the Brain Center for Social and Motor Cognition, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Parma, and for a Research Unit of the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR), Parma, Italy. He is the leader of the research team that discovered mirror neurons in the mid‑1990s. His major contributions concern the cognitive functions of the motor system. In 2014, he received the Brain Prize from the Grete Lundbeck European Brain Research Foundation.

Corrado Sinigaglia is a Professor of Philosophy of Science at the University of Milan, Italy. His major interest is in motor roots of social cognition and has defended a motor approach to intentionality. He is the author, with Giacomo Rizzolatti, of the book: Mirrors in the Brain. How our Minds share Actions and Emotions (2008)

Additional information



Foreign Rights of So quel che fai sold:
English (Worldwide): Oxford University Press
French: Odile Jacob
German: Suhrkamp/Insel
Japanese: Kinokuniva
Korean: Ulsan University Press
Persian: Nashr-e Markaz
Russian: Language of Slavonic Culture Press
Spanish: Paidos
Turkish: Alfa Basim

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