The mirror neuron system: grasping others' actions from birth?
Lepage JF, Théoret H.
Département de Psychologie,
Université de Montréal and Centre de Recherche de l'Hôpital Sainte-Justine,
Montréal, Canada.
Dev Sci. 2007 Sep;10(5):513-23.


In the adult human brain, the presence of a system matching the observation and the execution of actions is well established. This mechanism is thought to rely primarily on the contribution of so-called 'mirror neurons', cells that are active when a specific gesture is executed as well as when it is seen or heard. Despite the wealth of evidence detailing the existence of a mirror neuron system (MNS) in the adult brain, little is known about its normal development. Yet, a better understanding of the MNS in infants would be of considerable theoretical and clinical interest, as dysfunctions within the MNS have been demonstrated in neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorder. Arguments in favor of an innate, or very early, mechanism underlying action understanding mainly come from studies of neonatal imitation, the existence of which has been questioned by some. Here, we review evidence suggesting the presence of an MNS in the human child, as well as work that suggests, although indirectly, the existence of a mechanism matching the perception and the execution of actions in the human newborn.

Liberal Eugenics
The literature of eugenics
Human self-domestication
Genetic moral enhancement
Germline genetic engineering
Preimplantation genetic diagnosis
Oxytocin, vasopressin and pair bonding
A life without pain? Hedonists take note'
'The Principle of Procreative Beneficience'
Do the DREAMless learn more and age less?
Gene therapy and performance enhancement
'Everybody in the world is my friend' hypersociability in Williams syndrome
Gender differences in empathy, social sensitivity, and emotion recognition

and further reading

Future Opioids
BLTC Research
Utopian Surgery?
Nutritional Medicine
The Abolitionist Project
The Hedonistic Imperative
The Reproductive Revolution
MDMA: Utopian Pharmacology
Critique of Huxley's Brave New World

swan image
The Good Drug Guide
The Responsible Parent's Guide
To Healthy Mood Boosters For All The Family