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Mirror Neurons

Mirror neurons represent a particular class of neurons that discharge both when the monkey executes a motor act and when it observes another individual (a person or another monkey) performing an equivalent or an identical motor act. These neurons don't discharge in response to the straightforward presentation of food or of other interesting objects. They also don't discharge, when the monkey observes hand actions mimicked without the target object. Thus, the effective visual stimulus is that the observation of a hand interacting with an object. Originally discovered during a subdivision of the monkey's premotor cortex, area F5, mirror neurons have later been also found within the inferior parietal lobule. IPL receives a robust input from the cortex of the superior temporal sulcus (STS), a neighbourhood known to code biological motion and sends output to ventral premotor cortex including area F5. Note that, although STS responds to the observation of actions done by others, it's not endowed with motor properties. Thus, the cortical mirror neuron system is made by two main regions: The ventral premotor cortex The rostral a part of the inferior parietal lobule

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