Reflections on mirror neurons and speech perception

Andrew J Lotto, Gregory S. Hickok, Lori L. Holt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

144 Scopus citations

Abstract

The discovery of mirror neurons, a class of neurons that respond when a monkey performs an action and also when the monkey observes others producing the same action, has promoted a renaissance for the Motor Theory (MT) of speech perception. This is because mirror neurons seem to accomplish the same kind of one to one mapping between perception and action that MT theorizes to be the basis of human speech communication. However, this seeming correspondence is superficial, and there are theoretical and empirical reasons to temper enthusiasm about the explanatory role mirror neurons might have for speech perception. In fact, rather than providing support for MT, mirror neurons are actually inconsistent with the central tenets of MT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)110-114
Number of pages5
JournalTrends in Cognitive Sciences
Volume13
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology

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