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Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2014 Apr 28;369(1644):20130177. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2013.0177. Print 2014.

Bodily selves in relation: embodied simulation as second-person perspective on intersubjectivity.

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Department of Neuroscience, University of Parma, , 43125 Parma, Italy.


This article addresses basic aspects of social cognition focusing on the pivotal role played by the lived body in the constitution of our experience of others. It is suggested that before studying intersubjectivity we should better qualify the notion of the self. A minimal notion of the self, the bodily self, defined in terms of its motor potentialities, is proposed. The discovery of mirror mechanisms for action, emotions and sensations led to the proposal of an embodied approach to intersubjectivity-embodied simulation (ES) theory. ES and the related notion of neural reuse provide a new empirically based perspective on intersubjectivity, viewed first and foremost as intercorporeality. ES challenges the notion that folk psychology is the sole account of interpersonal understanding. ES is discussed within a second-person perspective on mindreading.


bodily self; embodied simulation; intersubjectivity; mirror neurons; neural reuse; second-person perspective

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