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Mirroring People: The Science of Empathy and How We Connect with Others Paperback – June 23, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
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“Want to learn what mirror neurons have to do with Super Bowl commercials, violent video games, autism, addiction, and even free will? This is your book.” ―Discover magazine
“Explaining how mirror neurons might change our notion of free will, act as neural precursors to language, and shed light on human empathy, Iacoboni nimbly takes us through the experiments that led to these findings.” ―Seed magazine
“Pioneer researcher Iacoboni balances technical detail with engaging historical perspective, humor, and idealism.” ―Library Journal
“To read this marvelously accessible book is to share Iacoboni's enthusiasm.... A book full of wonder and promise.” ―Booklist
Top Customer Reviews
Marco Iacoboni presents mirror neurons in the first chapter as the specialized brain cells in an area of the brain called the premotor cortex, which specializes in the planning and execution of actions. While conducting an experiment in which researchers were recording single neuron readings from monkeys, one researcher found that the neurons were firing (a term used when a neuron is being activated) when said researcher was performing an action the monkey was familiar with. One story has it that the researcher had ice cream and was in the physical act of bringing it to his mouth to take a bite when the neurons in the premotor cortex began firing. While this particular story is eventually debunked, that these cells were activated not only when the monkey was anticipating the action but when it saw others performing provided neuroscientists with an entire new area to study.
After describing what these mirror cells are, Iacoboni does a beautiful job of pinpointing experiments that naturally progress from this simple observation to the broad implications mirror cells have. The basis of mirror cells is imitation. One experiment Iacoboni cited involved two children that were placed in a room that was chock full of objects, two of each. What the experimenters found was that when one child but put on a cowboy hat, the other one would put the other cowboy hat on.Read more ›
Iacoboni's book is useful for bringing the average reader up-to-speed on the research behind mirror neurons. My only complaint is that there is something off kilter about the writing style...I can't really articulate what it is other than to say that I felt as though I was frequently waiting for Iacoboni to get to the point. Perhaps it is because English is not his first language (I am not certain about this), but suffice it to say that I felt a certain kind of tension while reading this book. With that aside, I think this is a decent book and recommend it although I would recommend Damasio's newest book first - ...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book does include very interesting findings on imitation, autism, language acquisition and the relation between exposure to violent games/movies and aggressive behavior in... Read morePublished 12 months ago by moretolerance
Truth is truth. Truth may be found in many places. It may be found in many ways. Insights offered in this book are more than fascinating. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Larry P Kunz
Very clearly written and revolutionary in its ideas. "Monkey see, monkey do" seems to provide n explanation for much of human behavior. Read morePublished on July 20, 2014 by Herbert S. Gross
I have to say that I absolutely loved this book. Others have made the comment that there was simply not enough “science” in this book, but some books are simply aimed at the... Read morePublished on June 29, 2014 by Leanna Grintsaig
Mirroring People: The Science of Empathy and How We Connect with Others, written by Marco Iacoboni, discusses the role of mirror neurons and how they are necessary for interaction... Read morePublished on December 6, 2013 by Matthew Young
A true delight - well written great research, highly interesting A scientific book accessible to the public A great service toward the understanding of the human brainPublished on August 6, 2013 by lily pauker
Strengths: The author marshals compelling evidence and makes a strong, indeed nearly water-tight case, that mirror neurons are the biological infrastructure that subserves... Read morePublished on July 1, 2013 by Lou Agosta
Mr. Iacoboni is a rock star. His book is fascinating and entertaining without underestimating the reader or sacrificing complexity for easier reading. Read morePublished on March 11, 2013 by Christopher Violette
The whole topic sounds interesting. The book was very promising in the beginning. After a while though I saw that it is dry and not really telling me anything memorable just... Read morePublished on March 8, 2013 by Yannis