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Publisher: Journals Gateway
Perspectives on Science (2014) 22 (4): 616–649.
Published: 01 December 2014
AbstractView article PDF
“Mirror neurons” describe complementary affective neural activity that occurs in the brains of two different primates because they are both doing or observing the same action. Empathy, sympathy, and other emotional responses involving “taking the role of the other” are inferred to be the consequence of these emotional capacities. Mirror neurons were first described in the 1980s using the results of brain imaging studies. But, a similar conclusion about “mirroring capacity” is also reflected in over one hundred years of observational research in sociology. Early sociologists described how the social order is maintained and reproduced using the concept of the “looking glass self” which they view as an entity that exists between the biological being and a social being.