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Trends Cogn Sci. 2007 Apr;11(4):153-7. Epub 2007 Feb 14.

The self and social cognition: the role of cortical midline structures and mirror neurons.

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Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles, Box 951563, 1285 Franz Hall, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.


Recent evidence suggests that there are at least two large-scale neural networks that represent the self and others. Whereas frontoparietal mirror-neuron areas provide the basis for bridging the gap between the physical self and others through motor-simulation mechanisms, cortical midline structures engage in processing information about the self and others in more abstract, evaluative terms. This framework provides a basis for reconciling findings from two separate but related lines of research: self-related processing and social cognition. The neural systems of midline structures and mirror neurons show that self and other are two sides of the same coin, whether their physical interactions or their most internal mental processes are examined.

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