Mirroring In The Monkey Brain

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It was suspected among select research groups that this mirroring function of individual neurons in the monkey brain was not localized and limited specifically to motor functions exclusively, but was instead likely to be adaptive to a variety of brain structures and functions. Thus far, mirror neurons have been found in the monkey brain with connections to a variety of systems including auditory, somatosensory and motor. However fundamentally, some emphasize that a broader interpretation of the concept of mirror neurons is most valuable.
Christian Keysers and Valeria Gazzola proposed that these mirroring systems throughout various parts of the brain could be conceptualized as a system generally promoting social cognition through triggering
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There has also been somatosensory study expansion into the area of vicarious pain. Pain has been shown to cross the self-other divide that is bridged with the mirror system, allowing observation of pain in others to activate pain processing mirror neuron systems in the observer (31,32, 37) with some physical locations of pain more sensitive to mirroring in the observer than others (40). The anterior insula, an area involved in the processing of both emotional and sensory information (a combination of which is defining of pain perception), has mirror qualities as well as the anterior cingulate cortex, a part of the limbic system (Morrison, Lloyd, di Pellegrino & Roberts, 2004; Morrison & Downing, 2007; Botvinick, Jha, Bylsma, Fabian, Solomon & Prkachin, 2005). (28, 29, 32, 28) Evidence suggests that it is possible for vicarious pain to be experienced and reported when only observing the pain of others (Osborn & Derbyshire, 2010). Mirror neuron involvement into somatosensation and nociception also aids in practical application, such as through informing theories and therapies concerning phantom limbs, a condition in which an individual still senses (often painfully) a limb that is …show more content…
These neurons did not have a direct link to a muscle group firing, but to a concept. This demonstrates the association between mirror neurons and higher level thinking (Rizzolatti, Fadiga, Fogassi et al., 1996). Self-other mapping was also assessed in neurons of the medial temporal lobe in monkeys, which are not motor neurons but are higher order in nature. This further supports the theory that an individual’s perception of an other is important in this brand of neurons that process beyond simple stimuli sensation

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