Context

Mirror neurons have been an exciting but much-debated topic in social cognitive neuroscience. In the field of autism, it has been argued that a 'broken' mirror neuron system could underlie the social and communication problems seen in autistic people. But how do we measure mirror neuron system activity? Are our measures robust? And does the evidence add up to support the broken mirror view?

The research

We tested neurophysiological measures that have been argued to tap into the activity of the human mirror neuron system. Mu suppression has been argued to reflect sensorimotor activity, including activity when viewing the actions of others. Using a registered report, we tested the notion that mu suppression was confounded by broad attentional factors, a key issue for research using mu suppression to suggest a 'broken' mirror system in autism. In addition, our reviews highlight that evidence does not add up to support the traditional 'broken mirror' view of autism.

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York Neuroimaging Centre
reception@ynic.york.ac.uk
+44 (0)1904 435346
+44 (0)1904 435356
York Neuroimaging Centre, The Biocentre, York Science Park, Heslington, York YO10 5NY
@UOY_YNiC

Featured researcher
Hannah Hobson

Hannah Hobson

Dr Hobson's research considers language and communication problems and imitation abilities and neural systems that underlie imitation.

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Contact us

York Neuroimaging Centre
reception@ynic.york.ac.uk
+44 (0)1904 435346
+44 (0)1904 435356
York Neuroimaging Centre, The Biocentre, York Science Park, Heslington, York YO10 5NY
@UOY_YNiC