Clin Psychopharmacol Neurosci.  2018 Feb;16(1):18-31. 10.9758/cpn.2018.16.1.18.

From Neurons to Social Beings: Short Review of the Mirror Neuron System Research and Its Socio-Psychological and Psychiatric Implications

  • 1Clinical Emotion and Cognition Research Laboratory, Inje University Ilsan Paik Hospital, Goyang, Korea.
  • 2Department of Psychiatry, Inje University Ilsan Paik Hospital, Goyang, Korea.


The mirror neuron system (MNS) is a brain network activated when we move our body parts and when we observe the actions of other agent. Since the mirror neuron's discovery in research on monkeys, several studies have examined its network and properties in both animals and humans. This review discusses MNS studies of animals and human MNS studies related to high-order social cognitions such as emotion and empathy, as well as relations between MNS dysfunction and mental disorders. Finally, these evidences are understood from an evolutionary perspective.


Mirror neurons; Social cognition; Mental disorders
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