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The Myth of Mirror Neurons: The Real Neuroscience of Communication and Cognition Hardcover – August 18, 2014

4.4 out of 5 stars 48 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Every now and again an idea from science escapes from the lab and takes on a life of its own as an explanation for all mysteries, a validation of our deepest yearnings, and irresistible bait for journalists and humanities scholars. Examples include relativity, uncertainty, incompleteness, punctuated equilibrium, plasticity, complexity, epigenetics, and, for much of the twenty-first century, mirror neurons. In this lively, accessible, and eminently sensible analysis, the distinguished cognitive neuroscientist Greg Hickok puts an end to this monkey business by showing that mirror neurons do not, in fact, explain language, empathy, society, and world peace. But this is not a negative exposé―the reader of this book will learn a great deal of the contemporary sciences of language, mind, and brain, and will find that the reality is more exciting than the mythology."
Steven Pinker, author of How the Mind Works and The Blank Slate

"A devastating critique of one of the most oversold ideas in psychology."
Gary Marcus, cognitive psychologist and author of the New York Times bestseller Guitar Zero

"This book is the scientific analog of a courtroom thriller: against long odds, the brilliant underdog logically, methodically, and with disarming grace and hard facts takes down his fashionable opponent―the ‘Mirror Neuron’ colossus, long the darling of the don’t-look-too-closely crew. Hickok does not leave us empty-handed, however, but outlines what an alternative to mirror theory might look like."
Patricia Churchland, professor of philosophy emerita at the University of California, San Diego

"[Hickock’s] impressive handling of basic neuroscience makes a complex topic understandable to the general reader as he delves into cutting-edge science."
Publishers Weekly

"A bold look at one of the most exciting theories in neuroscience [and] an inspiring example of experimental science at work: The initial theory of mirror neurons may have had a false start, but it inspired an even more complex and interesting story that is just beginning to unfold."
Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

Gregory Hickok is a professor of cognitive science at University of California, Irvine, where he directs the Center for Language Science and the Auditory and Language Neuroscience Lab.

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ W. W. Norton & Company; 1st edition (August 18, 2014)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0393089614
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0393089615
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.39 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6.5 x 1.1 x 9.6 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.4 out of 5 stars 48 ratings

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Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5
48 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on October 13, 2015
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Reviewed in the United States on August 25, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on October 14, 2014
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Reviewed in the United States on November 4, 2015
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Reviewed in the United States on January 3, 2015
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Reviewed in the United States on September 16, 2014
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Reviewed in the United States on September 12, 2014
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Reviewed in the United States on October 31, 2014
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Top reviews from other countries

Yoyo
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 28, 2017
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Rutger J. van der Gaag
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 15, 2015
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Hilda Hernández López
5.0 out of 5 stars Un libro accesible para todos los lectores.
Reviewed in Mexico on September 30, 2017
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Jomine
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Reviewed in India on May 13, 2016
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neel fotedar
5.0 out of 5 stars Hickok has some really good arguments against the mirror neuron theory
Reviewed in India on October 5, 2014
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