How are the actions of triangles and people processed in the human brain?

Antonia F. de C. Hamilton, Richard Ramsey

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Comprehension of actions is a core social skill. Here we provide a critical review of the dominant mirror neuron theory of action comprehension. Recent data demonstrate that parts of the mirror system respond to actions performed by nonhuman shapes and are insensitive to actor identity. Regions beyond the mirror system are also important for action comprehension. We suggest this data is not compatible with a strong mirror system hypothesis, and we outline alternative theories.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSocial perception
Subtitle of host publicationdetection and interpretation of animacy, agency, and intention
EditorsM. D. Rutherford, Valerie A. Kuhlmeier
Place of PublicationCambridge, MA
PublisherMIT Press
ISBN (Electronic)9781461943280
ISBN (Print)9780262019279
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • mirror neurons
  • action understanding
  • intentionality


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