Interview Compilations

What are mirror neurons?
Title Description Interviewee Producer Duration
An Emotional Mirror Mechanism Apart from the mirror mechanism found in the motor system, there seems to be good evidence for a similar mechanism for the perception of emotion. Dr. Rizzolatti notes that the same regions that are active when one is in pain are the same as the... Giacomo Rizzolatti goCognitive 00:03:22
Anatomy of Mirror System Pathways One of Dr. Rizzolatti's research goals as a neurophysiologist is to understand the anatomical pathways of the mirror mechanism. By using fMRI and tracers he is trying to find the brain centers involved in mirror neuron activity and to determine... Giacomo Rizzolatti goCognitive 00:01:11
Autism One of the research areas that the identification of a mirror mechanism has inspired is autism research. Autism is a neurological disorder that is characterized by an impaired ability to process social cues, as well as a delay of motor... Giacomo Rizzolatti goCognitive 00:05:47
Becoming a Neurophysiologist This video describes the academic journey of Dr. Rizzolatti as a neurophysiologist. He describes that he was trained as a visual neurophysiologist and became interested in the motor system while performing research related to eye movements. This... Giacomo Rizzolatti goCognitive 00:02:49
Counting Neurons The percentage of neurons showing mirror charactericistics changes tremendously from one region to another. However, knowing the exact distribution of mirror neurons might be difficult to determine. Giacomo Rizzolatti goCognitive 00:01:11
Critics of a Mirror Mechanism General criticisms against the idea of mirror neurons in humans stem from the idea that humans are unique and are a “special” species. Some psychologists have a difficult time accepting that a simple mechanism such as mirror neurons adequately... Giacomo Rizzolatti goCognitive 00:02:13
Giacomo Rizzolatti - Mirror Neurons In this interview, Dr. Giacomo Rizzolatti of the University of Parma, Italy, describes his discovery of a unique type of neurons in the human motor cortex. These neurons respond both when a person initiates a particular action, as well as when the... Giacomo Rizzolatti goCognitive
Homology Dr. Giacomo Rizzolatti discusses similarities between the human brain and the brain of a monkey to illustrate the compatibilities between the two. Specifically, the premotor cortex and parietal lobe. Both of these are similar in both humans and... Giacomo Rizzolatti goCognitive 00:01:39
Inhibition of Action by the Frontal Cortex Mirror neurons fire upon observation of an action and “mirror” the behavior of others (as though the observer were itself acting). Dr. Giacomo Rizzolatti discusses why we do not immediately imitate actions upon observing them. The main reason is... Giacomo Rizzolatti goCognitive 00:02:06
Initial Reaction The original paper about mirror neurons was initially rejected by a top scientific journal for lack of broad interest. When it published in another journal, the reception was extremely positive and widespread. Dr. Rizzolatti discusses some of the... Giacomo Rizzolatti goCognitive 00:03:19