Marco Iacoboni: Mirror Neurons – How Do We Connect with Others Through These “Smart Cells?”

May 20, 2008

To many in the neuroscience community, mirror neurons represent the biggest discovery of the past twenty years. These “smart cells,” which activate when we perform actions and when we see other people performing the same or complementary actions, seem to provide us with a common neurobiologic dynamic for our understanding of how we learn, empathize, and interact socially and culturally with other human beings at a fundamental level. In addition, mirror neurons may also be the key to understanding and treating a variety of social interaction disorders such as autism, social anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorders.

In this podcast, we speak with Dr. Marco Iacoboni, Director of the Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Lab at the Ahmanson-Lovelace Brain Mapping Center of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Dr. Iacoboni is currently leading some of the most advanced research on the human mirror neuron system and its role in both social behavior and social disorders.

Be sure to listen in on this provocative interview where we discuss Dr. Iacoboni’s new book, Mirroring People: The New Science of How We Connect with Others (May 2008, Farrar, Straus and Giroux), and delve into the fascinating details of one of the most exciting new areas of scientific discovery.