The Human Mirror Neuron System

Wikis > Glossary > The Human Mirror Neuron System

The Human Mirror Neuron System is a neural system, that functions to enable an empathic experience of the world by neural communications with systems analogous to a perception. For example, in the perception of a musical performance, one would engage mental motor systems associated with the performer’s actions to connect with the performer’s emotional intentions. Thus the mirror neuron system creates a mirror image within an individual’s physiological state of a percept to facilitate understanding of said percept.

In “Music and mirror neurons: from motion to ’e’motion” Istvan Molnar-Szakacs and Katie Overy write:

“The mirror neuron system has been proposed as a
mechanism allowing an individual to understand the
meaning and intention of a communicative signal by
evoking a representation of that signal in the perceiver’s
own brain.” (Szakacs, Overy, 235)