Mirrors in the Brain: How Our Minds Share Actions, Emotions, and Experience

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9780199217984: Mirrors in the Brain: How Our Minds Share Actions, Emotions, and Experience

Emotions and actions are powerfully contagious; when we see someone laugh, cry, show disgust, or experience pain, in some sense, we share that emotion. When we see someone in distress, we share that distress. When we see a great actor, musician or sportsperson perform at the peak of their abilities, it can feel like we are experiencing just something of what they are experiencing. Yet only recently, with the discover of mirror neurons, has it become clear just how this powerful sharing of experience is realised within the human brain. This book provides, for the first time, a systematic overview of mirror neurons, written by the man who first discovered them.

In the early 1990's Giacomo Rizzolatti and his co-workers at the University of Parma discovered that some neurons had a surprising property. They responded not only when a subject performed a given action, but also when the subject observed someone else performing that same action. These results had a deep impact on cognitive neuroscience, leading the neuroscientist vs Ramachandran to predict that 'mirror neurons would do for psychology what DNA did for biology'. The unexpected properties of these neurons have not only attracted the attention of neuroscientists. Many sociologists, anthropologists, and even artists have been fascinated by mirror neurons. The director and playwright Peter Brook stated that mirror neurons throw new light on the mysterious link that is created each time actors take the stage and face their audience - the sight of a great actor performing activates in the brain of the observer the very same areas that are active in the performer - including both their actions and their emotions.

Written in a highly accessible style, that conveys something of the excitement of this groundbreaking theory, Mirrors in the Brain is the definitive account of one the major scientific discoveries of the past 50 years.

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About the Author:


Giacomo Rizzolatti, one of the world's best-known neurophysiologist, is Full Professor of Human Physiology and Director of the Department of Neuroscience at the University of Parma. He was the leader of the Parma team that discovered mirror neurons in the early 1990s. His studies on the cortical motor system and mirror neurons have been published in the most prestigious scientific journals (Science, Neuron, PNAS, PLoS, Brain. Trends in Neuroscience, etc.) and have had a deep impact on the cognitive sciences debate.
He is a member of Academia Europaea, of Accademia dei Lincei, and an Honorary Foreign Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the French Academy of Sciences. He is a member of the Scientific Committee of Fondation Fyssen. Among his major awards are the Golgi Prize for Physiology, the George Miller Award of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society and the Feltrinelli Prize for Medicine of Accademia dei Lincei. Born in Milan (1966), Corrado Sinigaglia is Associate Professor of Philosophy of Science at the University of Milan. For several years he studied phenomenology of perception and philosophy of action in Leuven, Paris and Cologne. He is also the author of papers on the history of sciences and mathematics, epistemology and foundations of probability. He is currently a member of the Steering Committee of the Italian Society of Logic and Philosophy of Science and of the "Piero Caldirola" International Center for the Promotion of Science.

Review:


"When a paradigm-shattering discovery is made in science, it goes through three stages before gaining acceptance. First, people don't believe; second, they claim it is of no interest; and third, they say that they have always known it. The discovery of mirror neurons in the early 1990s by Giacomo Rizzolatti, Vittorio Gallese, Marco Iacoboni and others, has been through all three stages. Happily, the idea seems to have emerged unscathed, judging from Mirrors in the Brain... a long-awaited review...[written] in a jargon-free style that should be intelligible to all."--Nature


"...an elegant, easily readable book that is required reading for anybody who is interested in this field."--Metapsychology Online


Reviewed in the Wall Street Journal, May 31, 2008


"When a paradigm-shattering discovery is made in science, it goes through three stages before gaining acceptance. First, people don't believe; second, they claim it is of no interest; and third, they say that they have always known it. The discovery of mirror neurons in the early 1990s by Giacomo Rizzolatti, Vittorio Gallese, Marco Iacoboni and others, has been through all three stages. Happily, the idea seems to have emerged unscathed, judging from Mirrors in the Brain... a long-awaited review...[written] in a jargon-free style that should be intelligible to all."--Nature


"...an elegant, easily readable book that is required reading for anybody who is interested in this field."--Metapsychology Online


"This is an excellent, and one might almost say essential, account...Engaging reading. The tone is authoritative, succinct, and clear."--PsycCRITIQUES


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Rizzolatti, Giacomo; Sinigaglia, Corrado
Editorial: Oxford University Press
ISBN 10: 019921798X ISBN 13: 9780199217984
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Descripción Oxford University Press. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. 019921798X New Condition. Nº de ref. de la librería NEW7.0861662

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Rizzolatti, Giacomo, Sinigaglia, Corrado
Editorial: Oxford University Press (2008)
ISBN 10: 019921798X ISBN 13: 9780199217984
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Giacomo Rizzolatti, Corrado Sinigaglia, Frances Anderson (Translator)
Editorial: Oxford University Press, USA (2008)
ISBN 10: 019921798X ISBN 13: 9780199217984
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Descripción Oxford University Press, USA, 2008. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. 1. Nº de ref. de la librería DADAX019921798X

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