In The Myth of Mirror Neurons, neuroscientist Gregory Hickok re-examines the mirror neuron story and finds that it is built on a tenuous foundation-a pair of co-dependent assumptions about mirror neuron activity and human understanding. Drawing on a broad range of observations from work on animal behaviour, modern neuroimaging, neurological disorders and more, Hickok argues that the foundational assumptions fall flat in light of the facts. He then explores alternative explanations of mirror neuron function while illuminating crucial questions about human cognition and brain function: Why do humans imitate so prodigiously? How different are the left and right hemispheres of the brain? Why do we have two visual systems? Do we need to be able to talk to understand speech? What's going wrong in autism? Can humans read minds?
The Myth of Mirror Neurons not only delivers an instructive tale about the course of scientific progress-from discovery to theory to revision-but also provides deep insights into the organisation and function of the human brain and the nature of communication and cognition.