[Mirror neurons]

An R Acad Nac Med (Madr). 2011;128(2):319-32.
[Article in Spanish]


Mirror neurons were recently discovered in frontal brain areas of the monkey. They are activated when the animal makes a specific movement, but also when the animal observes the same movement in another animal. Some of them also respond to the emotional expression of other animals of the same species. These mirror neurons have also been found in humans. They respond to or "reflect" actions of other individuals in the brain and are thought to represent the basis for imitation and empathy and hence the neurobiological substrate for "theory of mind", the potential origin of language and the so-called moral instinct.

Publication types

  • Lecture

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Mirror Neurons / physiology*