Fausto Caruana

«Learning to see». The role of the mirror neurons system, between neuroscience of perception and ordinary language analysis

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Keywords: Mirror Neurons System, Perception, Ordinary Language Analysis, Cognitive Neuroscience

In this paper I support the thesis that the mirror neurons system is involved in the perception of actions. This thesis is in contrast with the dominant view on the mirror neurons system, which consider this mechanism involved in action understanding. The paper is subdivided in two parts. In the first part of the paper I criticize the dominant view by means of the ordinary language analysis applied to the concept of «action understanding». In the second part of the paper I will offer an alternative interpretation supporting the thesis that the mirror neurons system is involved in perception. In order to demonstrate it, I will show that the concept of perception emerging from recent neuroscientific data is in contrast with the one adopted by classic cognitive neuroscience, and in line with my proposal. This alternative reading will help to solve theoretical issues concerning the interpretation of empirical data on the mirror neurons system.

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