Mirror Neuron Hypothesis

Decent Essays
Arguments for the Hypothesis
Since the inception of the idea that mirror neurons can explain the behavior of an individual in the Autism Spectrum, there have been many theories trying to explain the same, one of the established theory is the broken mirror theory which supports the hypothesis that defects in the mirror neuron systems can explain the symptoms associated with Autism disorders. One of the chief supporters of the hypothesis is Ramachandran, V. S. whose TED talk on mirror neurons is one of the reasons for its widespread publicity relating to evolution. Mu waves related to the sensorimotor region is studied and the analysis suggests that EEG could provide a basis for linking mirror neurons to autism [9]. A brief summary of the imaging
…show more content…
is one of the most vocal critics of the significance of Mirror neurons, as he doubts that action understanding could lead to activation of mirror neurons while in fact suspects the reverse happens. This also undermines the theory of broken mirror which is built upon the statement that action understanding and in turn social cognition have a basis in mirror neurons [13]. Another study that refutes the claim is the study of "perception of biological motion in autistic individuals" dealing with imitation that is discussed in the hypothesis [14]. Speaking about imitation, a direct contradiction of the hypothesis shows how children with autism were good at performing tasks involving automatic imitation. The study also questions if the sole function of the mirror neuron system can be about imitation as suggested by the broken mirror theory [15]. Mu suppression studies are also not in favor of the hypothesis stating that the visual attention between control and autistic groups were not significantly different [16]. Recently, Hamilton, A. et al., started with observing functional MRI studies that showed certain changes in the mirror neurons regions in the autistic subjects focusing on sequential action predictions but in conclusion, the hypothesis does not hold good enough to stand alone. They suggest combining studying mentalizing and mirror neuron studies to get a better sense of the phenomena
Get Access