Understanding Intentions: Through the Looking Glass

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Science  29 Apr 2005:
Vol. 308, Issue 5722, pp. 644-645
DOI: 10.1126/science.1112174

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A class of neurons in the brain called "mirror neurons" may be crucial for understanding motor actions. Mirror neurons are activated not only during the execution of a particular action, but also during observation of that action carried out by someone else. In their Perspective, Nakahara and Miyashita discuss a new study in monkeys ( Fogassi et al.) suggesting that mirror neurons also are able to encode the intention of a particular action as well as the action itself and observation of the action.