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Mirroring People: The New Science of How We Connect with Others 1st Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 860-1415711493
ISBN-10: 0374210179
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

How do we know what others are thinking and feeling? Why do we weep at movies? UCLA neuroscientist Iacoboni introduces readers to the world of mirror neurons and what they imply about human empathy, which, the author says, underlies morality. Mirror neurons allow us to interpret facial expressions of pain or joy and respond appropriately. Thanks to these neurons, Jacoboni writes, [w]e have empathy for... fictional characters—we know how they're feeling because the feeling is reproduced in us. Mirror neurons also help us learn by imitating, from newborns who instinctively copy facial gestures to adults learning a new skill. The author cites studies suggesting that when mirror neurons don't work properly, as in autism, encouraging imitative behavior, or social mirroring, can help. More ominously, Jacoboni sees mirror neurons as implicated in addiction and finds possible implications for how we react to consumer and even political ads. Iacoboni's expansive style and clear descriptions make for a solid introduction to cutting-edge neurobiology. (May 21)
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Review

“A fascinating account of an unexpected discovery that is changing the way that psychologists and neuroscientists think about everything from language to social interaction.”   —Daniel Gilbert, Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and author of Stumbling on Happiness
 
“Marco Iacoboni has written a fascinating and wonderfully accessible account of one of the most exciting developments in recent neuroscience—the discovery of ‘mirror neurons.’ If you want to know more about the biological basis of empathy, morality, social cognition and self-awareness, read this book.”   —Sam Harris, founder of The Reason Project and author of the New York Times best sellers, The End of Faith and Letter to a Christian Nation
 
“Those of us who thirty years ago began to speculate about the social brain never guessed what riches were in store. Iacoboni's book is both a thrilling account of how research on mirror neurons is revolutionising our understanding of inter-subjectivity, and a passionate manifesto for what he calls ‘existential neuroscience.’ Mirroring People does for the story of mirror neurons what The Double Helix did for DNA.”   —Nicholas Humphrey, author of Seeing Red: A Study in Consciousness
 
“A superb introduction to one of the great discoveries of contemporary science: we come wired for empathy and cooperation, and evolution has equipped us to care, not just compete. Think of evolution as the survival of the most caring and best cared for. This is a book you must read.”   —George Lakoff, author of The Political Mind: Why You Can’t Understand 21st-Century Politics with an 18th-Century Brain
 
“This book vividly conveys the current excitement in the field of mirror neurons and it should provide a valuable antidote to "Neuron envy" - a widely prevalent syndrome in psychology. The author explores the broader implications of the research for understanding the neural basis of human nature.”   —V.S. Ramachandran, M.D., PhD,  Director, Center for brain and cognition, UCSD
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 1st edition (May 13, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374210179
  • ASIN: B008SLZODQ
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.3 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,111,590 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a splendid summary of the advances in brain science centering on mirror neurons. The author is one of the key researchers in the area, and has himself pushed our understanding forward of how the brain works in this key area. The book is well-written, clearly written, long on stories and short on jargon. Highly recommended for anyone who wants to understand how brain research is increasing our understanding of how humans connect.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I expected more discussion and less reliance on scientific ex[eriments I would not recommend this book to someone else now tat I have read it
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Format: Hardcover
As a new and revolutionary science, research on mirror neurons is quickly expanding, with groundbreaking findings increasing in recent decades. Author Marco Iacoboni explores this subject in Mirroring People: The Science of Empathy and How We Connect With Others, introducing readers to these “smart cells,” with special functions of their own. These interesting functions provide only one of many explanations of how the complex brain is involved with interactions, empathy, and understanding. As a pioneer researcher in these specialized neurons, Dr. Iacaboni is both a credible source and leading expert on this topic, continuing his work at UCLA and producing a number of other publications related to these cells. Research behind mirror neurons has found that these specialized neurons may be the reason why one might exhibit emotions simply after witnessing an experience, without undergoing the same experience himself. The neuron “mirrors” the activity of the person being observed. Remarkably, our ability to relate to others may be attributed to the fascinating new science of mirror neurons, as explained in this well-written, engaging novel.

The book begins by informing readers of the basic function of these neurons, located in the premotor cortex. They are believed to be responsible for neurological mechanisms behind feelings of empathy, understanding, and interactions between individuals, ultimately playing a role in our connections and relationships with one another. Iacoboni recalls attaching electrodes to brain cells of monkeys, and, to his surprise, discovering that the same neurons fired in the monkey’s brain when it snatched a peanut itself and when it watched the researcher perform the same act of snatching the peanut.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I ordered this for a Developmental Psychology class and it pretty laid out the principles very well. It gives you an ideal understanding of certain attributes of mankind.
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