Translated with Google translate, under correctning...

Progress in Psychological Science 2016, Vol. 24, No. 6, 958–973

Advances in Psychological Science DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2016.00958

Myths of Autism Broken Mirror Theory: Origin, Problems and Prospects*

Pan Wei 1 Chen Yu 2,3 ​​Wang Wei 4 Shan Chunlei 5

(1 College of Rehabilitation Science, Nanjing Special Education Teachers College, Nanjing 210038, China)

(2 Center for Language and Cognition, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310028, China)
(3 Department of Psychology, Shaoxing University of Arts and Sciences, Shaoxing 312000)

(4 School of Psychology, New York University, New York 10003)
(5 School of Rehabilitation, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 201203)



Autistic patients mainly involve social and emotional interaction defects, non-verbal behavior communication defects,and development maintenance in social communication and communication barriers and understanding the shortcomings of interpersonal relationships.

The potential autonomic intuition component of this group in the process of social cognition is considered to be its unique clinical symptoms.

Given the mirror neuron system plays an important role in the intuitive component of social cognition, and the system's dysfunction hypothesis (or "broken mirror" theory) is proposed both to explain the causes of autism and its abnormal performance.

However, after 10 years of development and evidence testing, the potential prob-lems of the theory gradually exposed. Current research shows that the research on human mirror neuron system has inherent defects, and the mirror neuron system is at most social cognition.

The accompanying reason, the systemic dysfunction is not a necessary condition for social cognitive impairment in autistic patients.

Broken mirror theory comes from clinical behavior research extensive questioning with experimental evidence in cognitive neuroscience.

In the future,with the changes in the subjects of autism, the social response theory of mirror neurons, the dual individual paradigm, the second person neuroscience paradigm and the rise of computational psychiatry, the true relationship between mirror neurons and autism will be clarified.

Key words autism; mirror neurons; broken mirror theory; social cognition; action imitation; social response

Classification number B845; R395

1 Introduction  


Reaction or underreaction) (American Psychiatric Association, 2013)


Received date: 2015-09-21

* Major projects of the National Social Science Fund (11&ZD187); National Natural Science Foundation of China

Project on the face (81472163); major course in philosophy and social science research of the Ministry of Education

Project research project (13JZD004);Zhejiang Education Science Planning Project (2015SCG145); Jiangsu University Philosophy and Social Science Research Project (2015SJB304).

Corresponding author: Chen Wei, E-mail:

Wang Wei, E-mail:


Autism is in the eyes based on the severity of the condition communication, facial expressions, social interests, peer relationships, and social or emotional inter-actions and other aspects in different states.

These abnormal state and individual imitation,theory of mind, social ability of other people's mental ability, empathy, etc. the ability to characterize the external state, including the mental state of others or behavior (Hohwy & Palmer, 2014) are related to the defect.

Since the 1980s, researchers have proposed many theoretical explanations since social cognitive impairment in patients with autism: such as heart blind theory (mindblindness theory) and empathic systemization theory,etc., respectively made the heart of autistic patients the absence of rational theory, or the interpretation of empathic deficits, simplify autism interpretation of complex behaviors.

However, behavioral studies show many highly functional autistic patients with significant or limited mental capacity (mentalising), just potentially automatic in its social cog-nition process. The intuition is still damaged, and the anomaly and loss are unique symptoms of autism (Lai, Lombardo, & Baron-Cohen, 2014), which indicates a lack of psychological theory of empathy for autism. It may be a by-product of this abnormality of the intuitive component.


Broken-mirror theory (BMT) is the intuitive component of social cognition (potentially automated emotions or actions) of imitation and recognition of the damage to explain the mechanism of autism symptoms, theoretical hypothesis of human mirror neuron system (mirror neuron system, MNS) research in the field of autism advance and expansion.
BMT proposed a set of MNS functions as a cog-nitive component of the autism that causes abnormal symptoms of autism on the system. BMT supporters believe that MNS provides autism the determined neural mechanism, future autism research will be numerous: a complex, unpredictable situation in the field of controlled neuroscience, solving the problem of autism, is just around the corner.

For a time, BMT caused great attention. But as the research deepens, more and more the researchers found that MNS as a hypothesis of social cognitive neural mechanisms is exaggerated or distorted. BMT is based on this solution. There are more and more social cognition barriers in patients with autism questioning. The rationality of its theory needs to be confirmed (Southgate&Hamilton, 2008; Enticott et al., 2013; Chen Wei, Wang Wei, 2015b), even the new book: Brain, published by Jarrett (2014).

In Great Myths of the Brain, about "Mirror neurons will shape us into humans" and "fragmented the study of autism" has become the 25th myth. One I have been given unlimited expectations in explaining the causes and manifestations of autism. Why did the new theory encounter such a reality? Autism and mirroring, what is the relationship between neurons? This article is intended to starting from the development path of BMT, systematic review and combing BMT connotation and evidence, by clarifying the challenges and evidence of BMT, tryig to make a rational outlook for its future development.


2 Development path of broken mirror theory

2.1 The relationship between mirror neurons and social cognition

In the 1990s, the University of Parma, Italy Rizzolatti, Fogassi and Gallese, etc. in the macaque (based on dolphins) tailed macaque [macaca nemistrina] and rhesus macaque [macaca mulatta] in the study accidentally discovered some neurons, when the monkeys themselves make an action (such as grabbing an object by hand) or observe a study. These neurons appear similar when the person per-forms the same action. Activation reaction researches will be based on the mirro-ring characteristics they exhibit. It is named "mirror neuron", indicating the instant recognition of this image knowing that monkeys can experience the movement from the outside world only by observing (Rizzolatti & Fabbri-Destro, 2010).

Subsequent research indicating that the mirror neuron (specifically its constituent nervous system) not only the motion control command (activated when the action is executed),but also let monkeys achieve understanding and distinguishing inten- tions through brain nerve activity (activated when observing an action; under the condition that only the action sound is heard; and the key visual cues that convey the action intent are under the condition of masking, the same activation reaction as the observation action occurs), Therefore, it is also regarded as the key nerve of imitation and movement cognitive development mechanism (Rizzolatti, Fogassi, & Gallese, 2006).

At present, the limitations based on experimental ethics cannot be invasive. Tech-nology gains direct evidence of human presence of mirror neurons, but extensive research is on non-invasive techniques such as electroencephalography (EEG).

The study uses μ waves (μ waves are individuals who are exercising at random or observing brain waves appearing at random movements, their inhibition and acti-vation with MNS,the opposite of the reaction), functional magnetic resonance ima- ging (fMRI) study blood oxygenation dependence contrast, BOLD signal (blood movement caused by neuronal activity force changes) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) through micro current spurs Exciting the brain and so on to ex-plore the human MNS situation - discovering humans The brain is mainly in the in-ferior parietal lobule, the abdomen Lateral anterior motor cortex (ventral premotor mortex).

Mirror reaction occurs in areas such as (inferior frontal gyrus), occasionally stu-dies have found superior parietal lobule and small brain (cerebel) (Molenberghs, Cunnington, & Mattingley, 2012), medial temporal lobe (Mukamel, Ekstrom, Kap-lan, Iacoboni,& Fried, 2010) There are also mirror properties. Researchers believe that mirroring is a system. The function of the function, the independent neurons with this function do not exist, Therefore, the human mirror reaction area is named MNS, currently the human MNS mainly includes:


(1) including the insula (island) (insula) and prefrontal cortex (anterior mesial frontal cortex)
Edge mirroring system that generates and understands the emotions of others Activate the reaction;


(2) include the inferior parietal lobes, the ventral anterior motor cortex and the top mirror circuit of the bottom and back of the forehead (parieto-frontal MNS circuit), observing or imitating simplicity (not including emotions) points of an activation response when acting or acting (Casartelli & Molteni, 2014).

Map external actions or emotions to themselves based on MNS ability, the genus that connects the self to the self-other relationship.

Sexuality has inspired researchers to study the relationship between them and social cognition. Research. For example, Iacoboni et al. (1999) found that MNS is in mode. Both imitation and action understanding play a role, they want in the experiment Ask the subject to observe and imitate the hand movement, and then reproduce according to the prompt The action, the result of the MNS of the test is not only when imitating the hand movement activation that occurs, and when the action is reproduced according to the prompt. Now that the reaction is enhanced, the researchers speculate that this reaction is strengthened. Indicates that the MNS has a potential understanding of the action during the reproduction action. Subsequently, Iacoboni et al. (2005) found that MNS has a resolution.



The function of the diagram.

They presented three groups of films for the participants, namely: one hand stic-king out to grab a cup on a blank background; two teas: the scene of the cup, the setting of a scene is like preparing people enjoy afternoon tea, another scene seems to have been waiting for dinner pick up; the third group of films is a hand that sticks out in different scenes. Grabbing the cup to reveal the intent of the ac-tion, the result shows trying to react most strongly to actions with clear intentions, and when observing the hand movements of "drinking" or "cleaning up",MNS does not appear. The same reaction and the activation of mirror neurons in these two scenarios, degree is better than seeing a blank background with a hand holding a cup or simply just watching the scenes, is more intense.

Wicker et al (2003) studies have shown that mirror neurons are also associated with empathy research. The subjects asked the subjects to smell the pungent smell or watch others suck a film of facial expressions with irritating odors to expe-rience nausea experience, the results found that the forebrain island (island) The response of the area is similar, while the insula (island) area is also the human MNS.

An important part of.Gazzola,Aziz-Zadeh and Keysers (2006) found that MNS can only hear the action sound enough to react with the same action as the action, which indicates MNS the understanding of the action can be achieved based on the relevant properties of the action.

Some experts and scholars believe that the emergence of MNS is our rationale. Solving social behavior provides a unified neural mechanism perspective, also will set off a revolution in understanding social behavior (Iacoboni, 2008). Of course, even the function of MNS was not available at the time to clarify, but its relation-ship with social cognition comes to autism research speaking, it does provide a new idea.

2.2 The Connotation and Argument of Broken Mirror Theory

The core of autism is the loss and abnormality of social cognition. This conclusion has long been derived from psychology, neuroelectrophysiology, and confirmation of studies such as brain function imaging. Behavioral research also shows abnor-mal social cognitive characteristics are common in autistic patients, such as im-paired perceptual function, executive dysfunctio, and abnormal perception and in-formation processing, etc. Due to the widespread social cognitive abnormalities in autistic patients,MNS seems to be the neural mechanism of social cognition which makes research realize that there may be something between autism and MNS correlation,and speculated that the MNS of autistic patients is abnormal. The con-clusions of EEG, fMRI and behavioral studies support this idea law. Oberman et al. (2005) use EEG to document autism and general development (TD) subjects in the view the condition of the μ wave when inspecting and performing hand move-ments (such as grasping items). The results show that the TD subjects have signi-ficant effects in observing and performing actions. The μ wave is suppressed, and the autistic patient has μ wave suppression when performing the action, but there is no μ wave suppression when observing the action.

This table the sensory motor cortex that performs autism in patients with autism is normal, but is there an MNS exception involving action mimicry?

Dapretto et al. (2006) fMRI, Barthélémy, Cottier and Destrieux (2010) by fMRI studied autism and TD subjects while observing and performing hand move-ments performance, also showed the difference in MNS of autistic subjects often. Pineda (2013) found that action via μ wave reaction biofeedback training can af-fect the MNS response in autistic patients, that shows a link between autism and MNS.


More support for BMT

The experimental evidence is shown in Table 1.

Combining the relationship between autism, MNS and social cognition, Williams, Whiten, Suddendorf and Perrett (2001), Ramachandran and Oberma (2006) and Iacoboni and Dapretto (2006) and others proposed the broken mirror hypothesis.

Imitation, mirror neurons and autism ("peilineuroniautismin" avausjuttu)

Imitation, mirror neurons and autism

Article · Literature Review (PDF Available) inNeuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews 25(4) · July 2001with317 ReadsDOI: 10.1016/S0149-7634(01)00014-8 · Source: OAI

Justin H G Williams, University of Aberdeen

Thomas Suddendorf, The University of Queensland | UQ · School of Psychology

Andrew Whiten

David I Perrett


Various deficits in the cognitive functioning of people with autism have been docu-mented in recent years but these provide only partial explanations for the con-dition. We focus instead on an imitative disturbance involving difficulties both in copying actions and in inhibiting more stereotyped mimicking, such as echolalia. A candidate for the neural basis of this disturbance may be found in a recently dis-covered class of neurons in frontal cortex,'mirror neurons' (MNs). These neurons show activity in relation both to specific actions performed by self and matching actions performed by others, providing a potential bridge between minds. MN systems exist in primates without imitative and ‘theory of mind’ abilities and we suggest that in order for them to have become utilized to perform social cognitive functions, sophisticated cortical neuronal systems have evolved in which MNs function as key elements. Early developmental failures of MN systems are likely to result in a consequent cascade of developmental impairments characterised by the clinical syndrome of autism.

(PDF) Imitation, mirror neurons and autism. Available from: ]


" "Broken mirror" is a visual representation of MNS dysfunction, the main point is that MNS functional abnormalities lead to social cognitive deficits in autistic pa-tients.One body in social cognitive functions,such as imitation,empathy,and action inconsistent performance in the solution and other factors, lead to the disease bet-ween autistic patients diversity of shapes. Although MNS research reflects it with imitation, there is a great correlation between emotion and action understan-ding,but each researcher of the relationship between them has different views, so BMT is also the same there have been different interpretations of autism.

Hamilton (2013a) BMT is grouped into 3 subversions: imitation (imitation) ver-sion of BMT, simulation version of BMT, and chaining version of BMT.

Imitation says that imitation is the characterization of the relationship between in-dividuals and others.The important ability involves the transfer of sensory informa-tion to motion information change, its abnormality makes it difficult for autistic pa-tients to visually or audibly. The conversion of information into actions limits their ability to follow and understand social activities. Dynamic ability, thus autism is an imitation caused by MNS anomalies. Obstacles, in turn, affect the development of a range of social cognitive abilities.

The simulation says that the function of MNS is expanded in a broad sense, and that MNS is considered is all the god who responds to the state of "self and others" mechanism. Autistic patients are not only an obstacle to imitation, but their empathy. Or there is an abnormal situation in action understanding. Oberman et al (2005) pointed out that MNS carries the intrinsic simulation mechanism of the individual, Physiology necessary for normal development such as empathy, theory of mind, language, etc.basis.

The chain says that when we are doing something, it is in series a series of action segments, the order of which is by us.


They asked the participants to watch a series of pictures: Phone in a neutral back-ground; Hand touch phone; Clutch microphone; hand Grab the phone body, Then ask questions "Why do you do this? as well as "She's at doing what", Autistic pa-tients are answering "why-problem than answer "doing what significantly worse on class problems. This supports the lock The hypothesis of the chain.

BMT Imitation, simulation, and chaining, MNS different functions enrich the per-spective of autism research,have quite appeal.But from another perspective, BMT diversity It also seems to indicate humanity MNS and autism research is still at the primary stage of exploration. Therefore, full of temptation and fog. Heavy BMT makes a rational reflection, investigate its problems, it is especially necessary to clarify the future development.


[RK: Finnish Sari Avikainen under made a dissertation in "Broaken mirror theory on autism"

" Department of Neurology University of Helsinki


Sari Avikainen

Brain Research Unit

Low Temperature Laboratory Helsinki University of Technology


To be publicly discussed by permission of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Helsinki, in the Auditorium F1 at the Helsinki University of Technology, on November 8, 2003, at 12 noon.


Academy Professor Riitta Hari, M.D., Ph.D.

Brain Research Unit

Low Temperature Laboratory

Helsinki University of Technology, Espoo, Finland


Professor Hilkka Soininen, M.D., Ph.D.

Department of Neurology Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio, Finland

Professor Mikko Sams, Ph.D.

Cognitive Science and Technology Research Group

Laboratory of Computational Engineering

Helsinki University of Technology Espoo, Finland


Professor Anthony J. Bailey, M.D, Ph.D., Cheryl and Reece Scott Professor of Psychiatry, University Section of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Park Hospital Oxford, UK


This thesis is based on the following six original publications, which will be referred to in the text by their Roman numerals (I–VI).

Hari R, Forss N, Avikainen S, Kirveskari E, Salenius S, and Rizzolatti G: Activation of the human primary motor cortex during action observation: A neuromagnetic study.

Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1998, 95: 15061-15065.

I Avikainen S, Kulomäki T, and Hari R: Normal movement reading in Asperger subjects.

Neuroreport 1999, 10: 3467-3470.

II Avikainen S, Forss N, and Hari R: Modulated activation of the human SI and SII cortices during observation of hand actions. Neuroimage 2002, 15: 640-646.

III Avikainen S, Liuhanen S, Schürmann M, and Hari R: Enhanced exstrastriate activation during observation of distorted finger postures. J Cogn Neurosci 2003, 15: 658-663.

V Avikainen S, Wohlschläager A, Liuhanen S, Hänninen R, and Hari R:

Impaired mirror-image imitation in high-functioning autistic subjects.

Curr Biol 2003, 13: 339-341.

VI  Nishitani N, Avikainen S and Hari R: Abnormal imitation-related cortical activation sequences in Asperger’s syndrome. Ann Neurol (under revision).



Social interaction is an important part of human behaviour. Communication, both in terms of language and non-verbal interaction, forms the basis of our social behaviour.

In non-verbal communication, information from gestures, gaze, facial expressions and movements is used to interpret other persons’ intentions, goals, thoughts and feelings.

For a long time, the knowledge about brain mechanisms underlying social cog-nition has merely been based on animal studies. The development of brain ima-ging techniques that allow studies of brain function in awake and acting indivi-duals has opened new possibilities to explore the neural basis of human social cognition. In this study I have used magnetoencephalography (MEG) to explore human brain functions underlying action observation and imitation. MEG is a to-tally noninvasive functional brain imaging method, in which an excellent time reso-lution is combined with a good spatialresolution.The first whole-scalp MEG device, housing 122 sensors in a helmet-shaped array, was developed in Finland in the Low Temperature Laboratory of Helsinki University of Technology in 1992. The development of whole-scalp MEG systems has made it possible to study cortical activations simultaneously in different parts of the brain.

In the present work, brain functions of both healthy subjects and autistics indivi-duals were investigated. Autism is a biological disorder, which severely affects so-cial cognition. According to the diagnostic criteria, the symptoms include impair-ments in social interaction and communication as well as restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior. Although the more able autistic individuals, such as subjects with Asperger’s syndrome, are of normal intelligence, they suffer from life-long abnormalities in social interaction.

Many theories have been proposed to account for those deficits, but the biological basis of the social difficulties in autism is still poorly understood.

The discovery of “mirror neurons” in the monkey frontal cortex has offered an important new tool to investigate the neural basis of social cognition.

These neurons discharge both when the monkey performs hand actions and when he observes another individual to make similar actions.Mirror neurons form the basis of an action observation/execution matching system that has been suggested to play an important role in action understanding, imitation, and in the ability to detect and recognize mental states of others.

The present work aims to demonstrate the existence of the human action observation/execution matching system, to study its function both in normal and autistic subjects, and to examine mechanisms of social perception and imitation.

The MEG studies focus on modulation of activation of the sensorimotor cortices during action observation and imitation. In addition, activation of the exstrastriate cortices to socially relevant hand stimuli is explored. Furthermore, behavioural mechanisms of imitation are examined in autistic subjects. The study was performed at the Brain Research Unit of the Low Temperature Laboratory of Helsinki University of Technology.]


PWW: 3 The reality of the theory of broken mirror


Follow the traditional understanding, BMT Correct MNS Social cognition and The interrelationship of autism gives a comparative perspective. It hits Opened the neural mechanism from social cognition to explore the channel of autism, Along this channel, we have a deeper understanding of autism solution. however, More and more researchers are also aware BMT The rendered mirror neuron myth is more like a persistent adventure. (Chen Yu, Wang Wei, 2015a).

So far, whether humans have have MNS?

MNS, what is the specific relationship with social cognition system?

Many myths such as broken mirrors in autistic patients are still lingering. All kinds of real problems are reflected BMT Attracting Under the aura, it seems that it is more faced with the embarrassing situation of where to go.

3.1 Humanity: MNS - Inherent flaws in research

Examining MNS versus BMT

Before the problem, We must To understand some facts, Human MNS Within the study itself In the defect. In the strictest sense, these issues have not been solved Before the decision, the researchers could not even claim that humans had MNS or Said that it was measured MNS Reaction. the first,

Is there a mirror neuron in the human brain?

The question is still debatable. There is only one case based on epilepsy Single-cell studies show that human neurons may have mirror genus Sex (Mukamel et al., 2010). In monkey experiments, Research Only the cells with mirror image pro-perties in the anterior ventral motor cortex Cellular 6 %, And most monkeys expe-riment in monkeys Sub-observation or execution of the gripping action is pre-trained, experiment The data obtained does not indicate a higher intensity response in a certain brain region.

Is it a separate mirror neuron activity or a task difference?

(Kilner & Lemon, 2013), MNS whether in motion observation or how much has been played in the implementation is also to be confirmed (Perkins,Stokes, McGil- livray, & Bittar, 2010). Such a situation slso exist in humans MNS researching.

Lingnau, Gesierich with Caramazza (2009) Repeated inhibition principle (weight representing a stimulus, its related neurons will appear to suppress should).

No neurons with mirroring reactions were found. On the other hand, Many scholars have been inclined to have a cortical back with mirrored properties.

Further research, but currently about MNS distribution and functional research is equally controversial. Molenberghs, Cunnington with Mattingley (2009) Com-prehensive research meta-analysis, the area below the forehead cannot be used as a corresponding imitation work Brain area that can occur, The generalized mir-ror neuron area still has no To a broad recognition. second, It is still difficult for the academic community to claim to be true or accurate MNS reaction.

Current research has been adopted fMRI, EEG or By TMS Various technologies, but the level of muscle excitement, the cortex excitatory, resting state of the spinal cord μ-waves, etc. may not always match MNS reaction state (Cattaneo et al., 2007). μ-Wave may just be the observer’s own feeling (Tactile). Response indica-tor Is a response indicator for observing external actions (Coll, Bird, Catmur, & Press, 2015). Fitzgerald, Fountain with Daskalakis (2006) point out MEG used in the study β-wave (β-wave reacted excitability of the primary motor cortex, consider as MNS activated one indicator).

Magnetic stimulation treatment and taking before the test Drugs, observed cogni-tive or motor tasks are more relevant, Do not have The repeatability of the experi-ment. and, Current match MNS Responsive finger The standard is a large number of regional neuronal responses,

It is difficult for researchers to this complex regional nervous system reacts to distinguish true MNS reactions with other motor neurons. Shaw with Czekóová (2013), Means EEG Research cannot identify the nervous system Specific spatial positioning of disorder or excitement, Sensory experience And later training will affect the EEG response. Virji-Babul, Rose,Moiseeva with Makan (2012) Found in the study 14-16 Months old babies observe the brain power of other babies when they crawl strong time to walk, that is to say, there is empirical dependence on the changes of EEG, rely, that is, we are currently passing EEG the so-called MNS. Excited live or abnormality may depend on whether the observer has observed experience, this makes it easy to experience differences in research. The result is different. In addition, Bastiaansen (2011) of Research shows that age also affects MNS reaction. They are autistic found in the task of observing facial expressions, Different ages autistic patients MNS significant differences in response, adult Participants have a stronger response than children, Researcher speculates MNS in 18-55 the age is still developing and improving. these questions first 6 period


The existence of the research shows that it is not only difficult for researchers to clearly distinguish the records in the study. React, And for humans MNS The un-derstanding of the development mechanism is still At the primary level, Age, expe-rience or other factors may still affect EEG or real MNS Reaction, Humanity MNS Letter of study Degree and validity need to be improved.


Alphonso Caramazza

Prof. Caramazza’s research exploresthe nature and organization of language processing and conceptual representations in the brain.His earlier work focuses on lexical access and language comprehension; he has studied these topics extensively in patients, documenting a series of dissociations within the language system in the presence of neurological injury (e.g., after stroke). In addition to patient work, his research group also explores the neural organization of language processing (e.g., grammatical category, action content) in healthy individuals using a variety of research techniques including functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), and behavioral techniques.


3.2 MNS

At most the incidental cause of social cognition even if we ignore humans MNS indirectness of research,MNS the relationship with social cognition does not seem so close. First of all, society will recognize that the effective imitation required in-volves visual analysis, characterization,cognitive process such as action selection.

These features are obviously not MNS place simple action copying that affects.

Caramazza, Anzelotti, Strand with Lingnau (2014) Point out, Mirror neurons in action In understanding, only involved in the process of converting actions into visual representations. Cheng, in this sense, it cannot be considered that mirror neurons have actions.

Understanding the features.

Janssen with Scherberger (2015) Analysis display parietal cortex PFG district and V6A non-mirror areas such as brain regions play the process of transforming object information from visual to action instructions important role, although these areas are not yet known, MNS How to jointly promote the generation of actions directed to the object. Second, MNS The main function is not action imitation or meaning Figure understanding.

Newman-Norlund, van Schie, van Zuijlen with Bekkering (2007) The study found that the subjects MNS in progress auxiliary action (complementary actions) (for example, hovering your hand, this action above the cup, it is to raise your hand and hold the cup or grab it intermediary auxiliary action of the cup) Simulated action (imitative actions) (for example, imitating the researchers’ demonstration of the cup action) The reaction is stronger, thus pointed out MNS main What is the coupling of various types of actions, that is, how the actions and actions are coherent Thus producing a purposeful act rather than imitating or performing an act.

Kana, Wadsworthwith Travers (2011) comprehensive analysis one MNS research on the relationship with imitation, MNS May have such as attention adjustment, self-matching with others, or target awareness, etc. auxiliary function that promotes imitation, but its main function is not mode imitation. In addition, action understanding often involves the observer's sensory system and motion system, more need for the former sports area god in this process activation of the Yuan (Rizzolatti & Sinigaglia, 2010). Mirror action understanding like neuron invol-vement is based solely on MNS for instinct response to visual input (Rizzolatti & Sinigaglia, 2010; Cook, Bird, Catmur, Press, & Heyes, 2014).

Kosonogov (2012) thinks that the main function of mirror neurons is not the pur-pose of cognitive action or understanding intention. There may just be in the brain some structures that participate in the resolution of the purpose or intent of the action. Some steps, but not an important role once again, the function of mirror neurons is associative learning (associative learning) product. A series of re-cent evidence of convergence 1 display, MNS has a very strong plasticity, this reflects these functions are unlikely to be biological evolution specific to so-cial cognition of e.g. action understanding MNS. The reaction can be changed through training change (for example, the subject is required to do the little finger when observing the index finger movement reaction, after many training sessions MNS there will also be action for the index finger non-mirrored response)

(Catmur, Walsh, & Heyes, 2007; Catmur, Mars, Rushworth, & Heyes, 2011).

From baby child EEG the evidence of the study also shows, related feelings in the baby's brain motion coupling (perceptual-motor couplings) and understand him this coupling of humans depends on the relevant visual motor experience process in associative learning (de Klerk, Johnson, Heyes, & Southgate, 2015).

According to this, Hickok (2014) think MNS understanding with action irrelevant reason, jjust when we choose how to use other people’s actions Played a role in the process, MNS Activation response may be more It should be the result of action understanding. This shows that, MNS the relationship with social cognition has not yet it’s completely clear. Existing experimental conclusions do not support the two the original idea of ​​the department.

As Steinhorst with Funke (2014) total knot: "claim MNS important social function is just intuitive be credible, but this is not to measure the truth of a theory. scientific standard”.

Currently, Some scholars have clearly pointed out MNS at most Is the incidental cause of social cognition contributory cause. which is,MNS It is neither necessary nor sufficient to generate social cognition, although But it does help to generate social cognition (Spaulding, 2013).
The future can be considered further MNS Social cognition What role does it play?, And to what extent it’s unusual How and how it affects social cognition.’

3.3 MNS Dysfunction is not a necessary condition for autism

From autism with MNS Look at the relationship, Many recent studies Showing autistic patients MNS is normal, MNS disfunction Not a necessary condition for autism, Researchers believe that before and after The results of studying contra-dictions are mostly due to differences in subjects or experimental conditions and caused by it. 1
Convergence evidence (converging evidence) Means to be one in scientific re-search Series experiments always support a hypothetical theory,At the same time, they can eliminate that together Some of the most important competitive theories, These experimental evidences have a high degree of acceptance.Convergent. Convergence evidence is important, Because different methods are very good Can involve different assumptions, And when a hypothesis can pass many Hypo-thetical falsification test, This evidence constitutes a strong evidence chain, And point to a convincing conclusion (Stanovich, 2012)



Raymaekers, Wiersema with Roeyers (2009) Research Research records high-functioning autism and TD Child observation and execution, Department action, The results showed that the two groups of subjects were tested in two cases. Significant μ-Wave suppression, And there is no difference between the two groups The difference.

Fan, Decety, Yang,Liu with Cheng (2010) of Studies have also found autism and TD Subjects observe hand movements Significant μ-Wave suppression, Only the autism group can't imitate Observed action, Researchers believe that autistic patients MNS positive often, It may just be that the function is suppressed.

Marsh with Hamilton (2011) Find, TD And autistic subjects are reasonably ob-served (rational) And unreasonable (irrational) (Take "reasonable” versus "unrea-sonable” Separate test Examine the subject's ability to understand the movement and the simple mirror response) Hand When the action,Two groups of subjects were MNS The left front inner groove area is also the same activation, TD The subjects simultaneously activated the cingulate gyrus and its bilateral cortex Neural circuit. When watching unreasonable hand movements, Two groups were There was no significant difference in the trial.

Sowden, Koehne, Catmur, Dziobek with Bird (2015) conducted behavioral re-search showing autistic patients automatic imitation ability is normal, they and the matching group are imitating fingers showing up on the task conducted behavioral research showing autistic patients´ automatic imitation ability is normal.

They and the matching group are imitating fingers.There is no difference in perfor- mance on the task, but inspected separately trial automatic imitation ability (e.g., imitation in different color backgrounds hand movement, to eliminate the same background may promote the imitation) compatible with space (spatial compatibi-lity) impact on imitation behavior (e.g, in the same context, ask the subject to ob-serve the left hand movement and use the right hand to imitate, to see if the same spatial background can promote trial imitation) in the experiment, but found that people with autism use more time short, that is, autism is not an ability to imitate, but more likely it is an abnormally strong disease that is caused by an automatic mimicking tendency. By this, many researchers believe that autistic patients MNS normal, and And mirror response and action understanding are functions of diffe-rent brain regions., MNS Does not seem to involve action understanding, Social cognition with autism Often there is little relationship with the defect.

In addition, If the cause of autism is MNS defect, that what is the brain of autistic patients? MNS it should be different from normal people, but yes Toal (2010) researched 65 brain of autistic patients, the results showed that the medial tem-poral lobe fusiform gyrus and cerebellar ratio in autistic patients ordinary people are slightly smaller, Classics such as forehead or top leaflet MNS District and often There is no difference between people.

Duerden, Mak-Fan, Taylorv with Roberts (2012) research analysis twenty two report on autism research, knot fruits showing autism and normal people in the prefrontal cortex, cingulate gyrus and Brain island (Island leaf) Size difference, But the next time or the lower leaflet There are no structural or functional differen-ces between mirrored areas such as zones. Hamilton (2013a) Analyzes 25 use fMRI, EEG or eye tracking technical research for autistic patients MNS functional research report, point out there is no conclusive evidence to support BMT. About autistic patients´ MNS abnormal statement, and pointed out based on BMT there is no intervention method effect. More questions BMT see the table for the experimental evidence.

2. Table 2 Question BMT Research

Smith & Bryson (2007), Behavioral research, imitate gestures, name gestures, press replica gesture, under clear requirements, autistic patients can enough to complete a roughly accurate imitation, but difficult naming gestures and recreating gestures by password autism patients have normal imitation ability,just don't know when to imitate Imitate what

Vivanti, Nadig, Ozonoff, & Rogers (2008), eye tracking observation imitation 6 meaning action and 6, meaningless action. Both autistic subjects and normal development subjects are invited. See more meanings, the two are not significant, difference between groups, there are no two kinds of imitation tasks, significant differences. Autism patients have better imitation low, but the ability to imitate and normal. There is no significant difference in developmental population.

Raymaekers Wait (2009) EEG observe and perform hand movements the two groups of subjects appeared in both cases. Holding μ-wave suppression, And there is no between the two groups, significant difference autistic patient MNS normal

Dinstein (2010), fMRI observe and perform hand movements,autistic patients are observing and performing hand movements time fMRI recorded to normal MNS anti-should, and when repeating the same action repetitive inhibition, behave action selective function autistic patient MNS normal, move Selective function is normal.

Fan (2010) EEG observe and perform hand movements. Both autism and normal subjects showed significant μ-wave suppression, only the autism group can't imitate. Observed action autistic patient MNS normal, but Function is suppressed First 6 period.


Toal (2010) Physiological data comparison comparing autistic patients with ordi-nary people Brain difference Medial temporal lobe fusiform gyrus in autistic pati-ents abnormalities in the cerebellum, classic MNS. The area is lower or the lower leaflet is the same as ordinary people.Compared with normal people, in autism the abnormal area of ​​the brain is not in the place predicate MNS area

Marsh & Hamilton (2011) fMRI observe moving objects, reasonable hand move-ments and unreasonable hands action. Two groups of subjects were watching the hand movements: MNS the same is activated in the left front sulcus area, normal subjects activated both buckle and double lateral cortical circuit. When watching unreasonable hands action time, there was no significant difference between the two groups. Autistic patient MNS normal,mirror-like reaction and action understan- ding is the brain different functions of the area, MNS versus action understanding has nothing to do.

Michel (2011), fMRI, Autism and normal subjects in emotion identification, opinion selection and emotional opposition should wait for the table on the three types of empathy tasks. Now the two groups of participants had no difference in emotional response tasks. Do not save on emotion recognition and opinion selection in the difference. The autism group takes longer, in the skin quality - abnormal activation of the edge loop. Autistic patients are completing empathy, emotional recognition and opinion selection abnormal on, not the whole emotional defect.

Falck-Ytter, Fernell, Hedvall, Von Hofsten, & Gillberg (2012)
Eye tracking in-vestigate whether the subject can spontaneously gaze To the right toy, And ma-king Length of correct response The accuracy of the behavior of autistic subjects Related to their level of social skills, Behavioral use Time related to verbal intelligence The cause of autism is more likely to be Handicap barrier.

Enticott (2013) TMS Observing the still hand, one's hand and two hands interac-ting Subjects in autism and normal subjects were observed No significant diffe-rence autistic MNS normal, social interaction clues (two people interacting hands) task and no difference in results, This shows MNS Little relationship with social cognition

Ruysschaert, Warreyn, Wiersema, Oostra & Roeyers (2014), EEG observe and perform purpose-directed actions and non-purpose oriented actions while obser-ving and performing actions, autism is trial with normal development subjects μ- Wave suppression Consistent, and μ-wave suppression and imitation Quality, age and social interaction questionnaire scores no significant correlation question BMT about autism by MNS defective statement.

Sowden (2015) Behavioral research observing the mode under different experi-mental scenarios; Imitation, investigate space compatibility for the past, the model of autistic patients was shown, imitation of normal experimentation in observing and performing action experiments, autistic imitation of normal subjects and nor-mal development subjects normally normal, under different experimental scene settings normal ability to observe and perform actions. The ability of autism pati-ents to imitate often, and different in the scene better air in the inspection mission intercompatibility

Cusack, Williams, & Neri (2015) Behavioral research facing outside actions (e.g, outside world Warning) perceived ability subjects with autism and normal subjects were in action there is no significant difference in perception, autism perceived system can handle him completely human social signal autistic patients in complex movements, the obstacles to solving and generating are not cognitive difficulty in action sequences

Pokorny (2015), fMRI, Observing imitation and moving things and not getting bet-ter object action, The two groups of subjects did not counter in either case. Should be different, autistic patients in two situations. There is no difference under cogni-tive action sequence in autistic patients column or simple action with ordinary people no different, no special cognition sequence defect

In summary, MNS Dysfunction is not a necessity for autism Pieces.

Recent studies show that people with autism MNS normal, autistic patient and normal human brain MNS There is no significant difference in the area different. Early on autistic patients MNS the abnormal statement may be MNS the function is suppressed or the experimental task and the subject are differences lead to dif-ferent results. Researchers are more inclined to think that autism Patient MNS is normal, Just its function due to autism Secondary causes are suppressed.


3.4 The lack of basis for the views of the various versions of the theory of broken mirrors

The problem with BMT lies not only in MNS and social cognition, but also from the relationship between autism and MNS is vague, and various theoretical versions are lacking persuasive.

From the main point of view of BMT, the imitation says that MNS is an important basis for imitation, imitative disorders exhibited by autistic patients. It is an expression of abnormal MNS function. However, many current research shows It shows that MNS has little to do with imitation, even if there is research


MNS should be involved in the important part of imitation, but based on autism patient studies have found that their ability to imitate has not been affected.

Smith and Bryson (2007) studied social problems in autistic patients gestures (such as thumbs up for people) and pantom gestures (such as fists) imitation ability, the result is compared with the development of non-autistic development and TD subjects, under clear requirements, autistic patients can complete sub-stantially accurate imitation, but it is difficult to complete the naming of gestures and the gesture is reproduced in accordance with the experimenter's language instruction. This shows autism The patient's ability to imitate is normal, their problem may lie in I don't know when to imitate and imitate. As far as the simulation is concerned, there are also studies showing that people with autism are. There is no difficulty in understanding and empathy.

Michel et al. (2011) Study examined autistic patients and normal subjects in emo-tional knowledge. Tables on three types of empathy tasks,such as choice, opinion selection,and emotional response Now,I found that people with autism and normal subjects are emotionally responsive. No difference, but performance on emotional recognition and empathy tasks poor, fMRI records showed two groups of subjects in the cortical-marginal zone Difference in the response of the domain (cortico-limbic). This shows autistic patients It does not seem that the overall empathy (cognitive empathy and emotional empathy) is abnormal. May be only conducive to the completion of empathy emotional recognition and empathy. There is a defect in the face, not a damage that simulates the state of “self and others”. The chain of BMT says that the cognitive action sequence of autistic patients´ column MNS exception, so in complex action understanding and generation There are ob-stacles. But Spunt,Falk and Lieberman (2010) Research shows the "why" problem (for example, the experimenter does drinking tea,asking the testee the experimen- ter "how to do it (using a cup Drinking)" and "why do (to stay awake)") It is an ob-stacle to understanding the movement, but because it cannot express the heart of others.

State of affairs.

Thus, Boria et al (2009) found that for autistic patients are the “why” problem is not good enough to explain that they cannot recognize know the sequence of actions.

Cusack et al. (2015) investigated the self in the study. Autism patients' behavioral awareness, and found that autism subjects participants in the TD group are aware of actions (eg, external warnings) and no significant difference,the perception sys- tem of autistic patients can be completely. Handling other people's social signals, they understand or live in complex movements. The abnormal performance of the formation may be due to the unknown when to react and how to react does not meet the assumptions of the chain.

Pokorny Et al (2015) study examined autistic patients and TD adults observing imitation and object movements (the subject points to the object's movements, for example reaching over the book and holding the cup) and inexhaustible action (such as reaching over book) when the response of MNS, the results found that the two in both situations. There is no difference in response, and autism is in two situations. There is no difference in the situation, which indicates that autistic pa-tients are no different from ordinary people in terms of cognitive action sequences or simple actions, no special cognitive action sequence defects. From the above facts, we can see that BMT is almost a beautiful empty space that emerges with-out a solid foundation middle building.Even if we ignore the birth defects of human MNS research,the specific relationship between MNS and social cognition, autistic patients whether the MNS is abnormal or the relationship between the symptoms of autism.The answer to the question of how the association is affected by MNS is still vague of.

Perhaps, this is also how we sort out the mystery of autism excited, it is time to set aside the BMT myths and move on to a new journey.


4. Broken mirror theory and future development of autism research

The discovery of mirror neurons has been around for more than 20 years (di Pel-legrino, Fadiga, Fogassi, Gallese & Rizzolatti, 1992),and BMT has been proposed for nearly 10 years (Ramachandran & Oberman,2006). These 10 years happen to be mirror neurons from God After the myth (neuromyth) fell to 10 years of rational thinking.Due to section the academic community still has no unified opinion on the function of mirror neurons.Research and related debates in various fields will con- tinue. Simultaneously,with the changes in the subject of autism,the society of mir- ror neurons Responsive doctrine, two individual social paradigm, second person god Through the rise of the scientific paradigm and computational psychiatry, we believe in mirrors The true relationship between neurons and autism will be gradually elucidated.


4.1 New research object verification of broken mirror theory

In recent years, the incidence of autism has increased by 30 times, for example, the United States increased from 0.05% in 1980 to 1.5% in 2014. Studies have shown that the surge in the incidence of autism is mainly due to diagnosis means of change (Hansen,Schendel & Parner,2015). Old the diagnostic method (before DSM-V) specifies the definition of autism standards for patients and normal individuals, as well as mild and severe autism limit. However, with the study of autism epidemiology and heredity analysis of genes related to autism (Chakrabarti et al., 2009; Robinson et al., 2011), people found that autism is the probability of occurrence and the severity of the total population are continuous normal points. Cloth, and some personality traits also overlap highly with autism symptoms (Baron-Cohen, 2009; Ronald & Hoekstra, 2011). Such as used to mea-sure autistic traits in clinical diagnosis autism spectrum quotient (AQ) application. In the general population, then 93% of normal individuals are normally distributed in 32 points or less (AQ total score of 50), and 99% of autism. The subjects were normally distributed at 32 points or above (Baron-Cohen, Wheelwright, Skinner, Martin, & Clubley, 2001). Test considering the high heterogeneity of autistic pa-tients (ie, 967 individuals' intelligence, social growth background, and social cogni-tive impairment the number and extent of energy vary greatly), many of the pre-vious studies Contradictory experimental results are most likely due to heteroge-neity (Bölte, Poustka, & Constantino, 2008). In order to avoid heterogeneity

In the interference of the research results, some scholars suggest that you can skip the autism disease patients directly study the characteristics and mirroring of autism in normal individuals The correlation of neuronal activity, thereby indirectly verifying BMT: For example, let normal individuals complete some questionnaires that measure the characteristics of autism. Then compare whether individuals with higher autism characteristics have their MNS activities are weaker than individuals with low autism characteristics.Considering the current type research is not much, and half is supported (Puzzo, Cooper, Cantarella, Fitzgerald, & Russo, 2013; Cooper, Simpson, Till, Simmons & Puzzo, 2013) Half against BMT (Haffey, Press, O'Connell, & Chakrabarti, 2013; Sims, Neufeld, Johnstone, & Chakrabarti, 2014), in the future we need more research in normal individuals. Verify BMT.

4.2 New Theory for the Exploration of Mirror Neuron Function

Although the vast amount of scientific evidence in Part 3 of this article is basically negative.The view of BMT (that is,the damage of mirror neurons is the main cause of autism the cause is), but people can't completely rule out autism The defect of some subtle social cognitive functions is that the mirror neurons are abnormal.

Caused by action.

So before I finally eliminate the BMT "myth", I will also need to clarify the true function of the mirror neurons as much as possible. Prior to the theory mainly focuses on mirror neurons and motion understanding and imitation can be linked together, but the 3.2 section of this article details the mirror-like a neuron is not a necessary and sufficient condition for action understanding, it is a live dynamic features are also contrary to the exact reproducibility required for action mimicry.

Then, in addition to action understanding and imitation, to mirror neurons may also what other social cognitive functions are involved? Hamilton (2013b) recently proposed a new theory: mirror-like neurons may be primarily involved in social response functions (social responding). Subjective action inspired by experiments (Newman-Norlund et al., 2007), Hamilton think that mirror neurons are not only observed passively motion information, its more important function is from its own motor cortex inspire the representation of the motion that responds to the target action, thereby prepare for the social response that may be made next. In order to facilitate to understand this feature, we can imagine the following scenario: when your when a friend handed you a beer mug at the dinner table, the mirror nerve Yuan may not only help you understand that it is a "carrying beer mug." Action, its more important is to induce you to make the right next the social reaction, that is, "opening the palm to make the action of picking up the cup." Here, because the sides of the beer mug are different (one side is the handle,the other side is a large cup noodles),you see the movements of others (fine grip cup handles) and the ac- tion you respond to yourself (opening the palm to hold the cup) will be slightly dif-ferent. Same,but if this is an ordinary transparent glass (cylindrical no the handle), the action of observing and responding is exactly the same.This permission Mirror neurons encode consistent and non-one during action observation and execution. The representation is a good explanation of why only 1/3 of the mirror god Jing Yuan is a "strict and consistent mirror neuron" (strictlycongruent Mirror neurons), and 2/3 of the mirror neurons are "Broadly consistent mirror neurons" (broadly-congruent mirror Neurons) (Rizzolatti & Craighero,2004; Kilner & Lemon, 2013).

Although the theory has just been proposed, and has not been verified According to direct argument, but logically, one of the mirror neurons Some important fea-tures support social response theory, such as speculative mirroring Predictive mir-ror neurons or logically related mirrors-like logically-related mirror neurons (Key-sers & Gazzola,2014),and associative learning (almost everyone Social-like action is the product of acquired learning) (Cook et Al., 2014). Considering the serious-ness of the daily behavior of autistic patients Lack of social response, this is most likely a mirror neuron The most connected link in autism.

4.3. New Research Paradigm for Mirror Neurons and Autism Research Promotion

Under the influence of redunctionism, psychology Studies often focus on a single external stimulus and over-refinement Cognitive process. This effect is also quite common in the study of mirror neurons. It is obvious. Although human society is rich in social behavior in daily life Color,the experiment of mirror neurons is mainly around simple ones. Body movement (such as observing a hand holding a cup, or a face Laughing).We believe that using the dual individual social paradigm (dyadic social interaction paradigm) to study mirror neurons is whether to participate in complex group action understanding may be the hot spot in the future (Wang & Quadflieg, 2015). Give two examples: first, when we see some social situations, like a student pulling another when the arm of a student who is about to fall, the mirror neuron is like how do you understand this group behavior? The behavior of these two students for the difference, how does our mirror neuron use unique motion the cortex to simulate these two different limb movements at the same time? Mirror god how does the Jing Yuan distinguish this action is prosocial (such as lifting up Falling classmates instead of anti-social (two classmates fighting)? Another example, when you see two children playing and his when we have facial expressions, how do we understand the following 4 kinds of micro.


Wonderful behavioral intentions: happy play (two children are laughing), true Fighting (both children are angry), one party bullies the other (The child who is shoving is laughing, the child being pushed is angry), one The party is provocative and the other party is irritated (the child who is shoving is angry,being the shoving children are laughing). Understand these complex group behaviors and a macro interpretation of two individual movements (or facial expressions):

Just understand a single individual movement (such as pulling an arm, falling, cry-ing, Laughter) is not enough for us to fully understand the meaning of the whole action. At this In the simple mirror neuron simulation, it seems that it can't help the individual.Understand complex group actions (because individuals cannot simulta- neously simulate two Different kinds of body movements), so it is highly likely that other recognition is needed. Know the process or neural network to participate in the integration of multiple single actions interest.

Considering the lack of autism for people in the "format tower" Macro understan-ding (refer to the weak center integration theory), we can think It is difficult for people with autism to understand their movements in daily life. It is very likely that the mirror neuron does not understand the single action.

Problem, but some are responsible for integrating multiple action information and doing it.

The cognitive process or neural network of the formatted tower interpretation has a problem (ie, "seeing wood is not seen in the forest" in terms of action understan-ding) (Simmons et al., 2009, Bölte, Holtmann, Poustka, Scheurich, & Schmidt, 2007). We believe that there will be many research applications in the future. This new multi-body social paradigm goes to impact BMT for action understand the interpretation of the defect.
In addition, the second person neuroscience paradigm (second-person neurosci-ence paradigm) may be the future to promote the mirror nerve another important direction of meta and autism research (Schilbach, 2015). Social neuroscience cur-rently mainly adopts the third person Third-person neuroscience, the subject Pas-sively observe the various offers provided by the experimenter in a nuclear mag-netic resonance apparatus Social stimuli (such as movements, facial expressions, social scenes). This image Seeing movies as a social stimulus rather than in eve-ryday life The paradigm of actively participating in social communication has suf-fered in recent years. Rickets (Schilbach et al., 2013). Because no matter from the neurological phenomenon learning from a cognitive science perspective, the brain is experiencing these two kinds of the state of the same paradigm is very different (Schilbach, 2014): the former is Called off-line social cognition and the latter It is called online social cognition.

The relationship between the two is like Cognitivism and life. Subtle in Enactivism: The former believes that the brain is mainly negative Responsible for information processing to help individuals better understand the world, The latter emphasizes that the brain serves the individual better with the surrounding environment. Interact to better adapt to the world (Cisek & Kalaska, 2010). Let's go back to the example of the beer mug mentioned above: when you see your friend handing the beer mug to you at the dinner table.

When your brain is likely to be ready to start picking up beer The action of the cup; but when you go home on the sofa, watch it with your mobile phone. Under the same action of handing beer mugs, your brain is not It’s too possible to activate any action related to the beer mug, because you Is passively watching the action of the beer in the third person, not The second person is placed in the ground as the object of the beer movement.

In other words, the environment you are in determines your brain will be the same the visual information makes a different physiological response. With the help of recent years to the development of experimental instruments and equipment,there have been many researches. Taking a second-person neuroscience paradigm, such as using an eye-based instrument real-time interactive social experiment (eye-tracker based real-time Social interaction) and society based on virtual reality technology Immersive virtual reality technology (Pfeiffer, Vogeley, & Schilbach, 2013),and these The test also shows that different brain regions and different neu-ral networks are separately in experiments with the second person and third per-son paradigm (Schilbach et al., 2013). Therefore, combined with the mirror neuron social ring discussed earlier Should be theory (Hamilton, 2013b), future for mirror neurons Research should adopt a second-person paradigm,that is, reciprocal/ tra- versal social contexts monitor the MNS's response to observed actions.For autism for research, considering that previous studies have found that many patients are completing some offline social tasks (such as just by observing facial images) to identify emotions) is not significantly different from normal subjects, but by the end of the day It is still difficult to face similar stimuli in normal life (such as autism can distinguish between smiling faces and angry faces, but they don’t know How to respond to these two expressions in the behavior of the Tao), future research should More second-person research methods to refine autistic patients Whether there is a defect in online social cognition and offline social cognition (Klin, Jones, Schultz, & Volkmar, 2003; Schilbach, Eickhoff, Cieslik, Kuzmanovic, & Vogeley, 2012).

4.4 Calculation of psychiatric (computational psychiatry) Rise

Under the influence of law of parsimony, science Research tends to use simple theories to explain mental illness because. The reason why BMT has a great im-pact when it is proposed is its main original. Because it can explain the defects of almost all social functions in autism (such as action understanding, empathy, imi-tation, reading, language development barriers). However,the comprehensiveness of BMT has also become its disadvantage: Heterogeneity in autistic patients is too strong, and different social functions are affected. The degree of damage is also very different, based only on a unified neural basis.


The damage of the foundation cannot naturally explain such complexity. Calcula-ting the rise of psychiatry may help us overcome defects of these single theories, thus better deciphering autism causes (Montague, Dolan, Friston, & Dayan, 2012; Wang & Krystal, 2014). Computing psychiatry through design god network model, simulation data calculation and prediction of patient clinical table Now, it can com-pare and combine many existing theories. E.g, for autism, BMT can be combined with heart blind theory: By modeling MNS brain regions and mental brain regions (mentalizing neural pathways and interactions between systems) How do two sys- tems in a common entity work together or make up for each other? Realize some social cognitive functions,and then in the body of autistic patients Perform functio- nal brain imaging experiments on these different neural networks Is there a prob- lem with the interaction of the network? Such research ideas may be closer to the truth, because of the functioning of the brain and social functioning Implemen-tation is carried out by a brain network responsible for different small cognitive functions. The result of synergy. MNS may be responsible for social action letters preliminary analysis of interest and initial resonance of emotions,followed by com- plex society Will speculate that the function requires a mental brain area for more information before Handle in depth. If the two neural networks do not ask them-selves Problem, but if there is a problem with mutual cooperation, it is possible to end the table. Some complicated behavioral characteristics or clinical manifesta-tions are shown: for example, no The function of understanding the movement of autism is less accessible (ie MNS function) can be normal),in the explicit theory of reading mind task) is no problem (ie, the mental brain area is also functioning pro-perly), but the implicit theory of mind task) A problem has occurred, which is likely to be a preliminary result of MNS The product of action understanding cannot be automatically analyzed and benefited by the mental brain area. use. All in all, fu-ture computing psychiatry can be verified and integrated A lot of theory before, its development will greatly deepen our Understanding of the cause of autism.


Chen Wei, Wang Wei. (2015a). Is the mirror neuron the "Holy Grail" of cognitive science?
Psychological Science, 38(1), 237–242.

Chen Wei,Wang Wei.(2015b).Education based on mirror neurons:new "nerve god"
The birth of words? Educational Research, 36(2), 92–101


American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM-5) (5th ed.).

Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.

Baron-Cohen, S. (2009). Autism: The empathizing-systemizing (E-S) theory. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1156, 68–80.
Baron-Cohen, S., Wheelwright, S., Skinner, R., Martin, J., & Clubley, E. (2001). The autism spectrum quotient (AQ): Evidence from Asperger syndrome/high functioning autism, males and females, scientists and mathematicians. Journal
of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 31(1), 5–17.

Bastiaansen, J. A., Thioux, M., Nanetti, L., van der Gaag, C., Ketelaars,C., Minde- raa, R., & Keysers, C. (2011). Age-related increase in inferior frontal gyrus activity and social functioning in autism spectrum disorder. Biological Psychiatry, 69(9), 832–838.

Bernier, R., Dawson, G., Webb, S., & Murias, M. (2007). EEG mu rhythm and imitation impairments in individuals with autism spectrum disorder. Brain and Cognition, 64(3), 228–237.

Bölte, S., Holtmann, M., Poustka, F., Scheurich, A., & Schmidt L. (2007). Gestalt perception and local–global processing in high-functioning autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 37(8), 1493–1504.
Bölte, S., Poustka, F., & Constantino, J. N. (2008). Assessing autistic traits: Cross-cultural validation of the social responsiveness scale (SRS). Autism Research, 1(6), 354–363.

Boria, S., Fabbri-Destro, M., Cattaneo, L., Sparaci, L.,Sinigagli, C., Santelli, E., … Rizzolatti, G. (2009). Intention understanding in autism. PLoS One, 4(5), e5596.

Caramazza, A., Anzelotti, S., Strnad, L., & Lingnau, A. (2014). Embodied cognition and mirror neurons: A critical assessment. Annual Review of Neuroscience, 37, 1–15.

Casartelli, L., & Molteni, M. (2014). Where there is a goal, there is a way: What, why and how the parieto-frontal mirror network can mediate imitative behaviours. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 47, 177–193.

Catmur, C., Walsh, V., & Heyes, C. (2007). Sensorimotor learning configures the human mirror system. Current Biology, 17(17), 1527–1531.
Catmur, Clubley, E. (2001). The autism spectrum quotient (AQ): Evidence from Asperger syndrome/high functioning autism, males and females, scientists and mathematicians. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 31(1), 5–17.

Cattaneo, L., Fabbri-Destro, M., Boria, S., Pieraccini, C., Monti, A., Cossu, G., & Rizzolatti G. (2007). Impairment of actions chains in autism and its possible role in intention understanding. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 104, 17825–17830.

Chakrabarti, B., Dudbridge, F., Kent, L., Wheelwright, S., Hill-Cawthorne, G., Allison, C., … Baron-Cohen, S. (2009). Genes related to sex steroids, neural growth, and social-emotional behavior are associated with autistic traits, empathy, and Asperger syndrome. Autism Research, 2(3), 157–177.

Chien, H. Y., Gau, S. S., Hsu, Y. C., Chen, Y. J., Lo, Y. CC., Mars, R. B., Rushworth, M. F., & Heyes, C. (2011). Making mirrors: premotor cortex stimulation enhances mirror and counter-mirror motor facilitation. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 23, 2352–2362.
Chien, H. Y., Gau, S. S., Hsu, Y. C., Chen, Y. J., Lo, Y. C L., Tonge, B. J., Daskalakis, Z. J., & Fitzgerald, P. B. (2013). Interpersonal motor resonance in autism spectrum disorder: Evidence against a global “mirror system” deficit. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 7, 218.

Falck-Ytter, T., Fernell, E., Hedvall, Å. L., von Hofsten, C., & Gillberg, C. (2012). Gaze performance in children with autism spectrum disorder when observing communicative actions. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 42(10), 2236–2245.

Fan, Y. T., Decety, J., Yang, C. Y., Liu, J. L., & Cheng, Y. W. (2010). Unbroken mirror neurons in autism spectrum disorders. The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 51(9), 981–988.

Fitzgerald, P. B., Fountain, S., & Daskalakis, Z. J. (2006). A comprehensive review of the effects of rTMS on motor cortical excitability and inhibition. Clinical Neurophysiology, 117(12), 2584–2596.

Gazzola, V., Aziz-Zadeh, L., & Keysers, C. (2006). Empathy and the somatotopic auditory mirror system in humans. Current Biology, 16, 1824–1829.

Hadjikhani, N., Joseph, R. M., Snyder, J., & Tager-Flusberg, H. (2006). Anatomical differences in the mirror neuron system and social cognition network in autism. Cerebral Cortex, 16, 1276–1282.

Haffey, A., Press, C., O’Connell, G., & Chakrabarti, B. (2013). Autistic traits modulate mimicry of social but not nonsocial rewards. Autism Research, 6(6), 614–620.

Hamilton, A. F. de C. (2013a). Reflecting on the mirror neuron system in autism: A systematic review of current theories. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 3, 91–105.
Hamilton, A. F. de C. (2013b). The mirror neuron system contributes to social responding. Cortex, 49(10), 2957–2959.

Hansen, S. N., Schendel, D. E., & Parner, E. T. (2015). Explaining the increase in the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders: The proportion attributable to changes in reporting practices. JAMA Pediatrics, 169(1), 56–62.

Hickok, G. (2014). The myth of mirror neurons: The real neuroscience of communication and cognition. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.

Hohwy, J., & Palmer,C. (2014). Social cognition as causal inference: Implications for common knowledge and autism.In M.Gallotti & J.Michael (Eds.), Perspectives on social ontology and social cognition (pp. 167–189). Netherlands: Springer.

Iacoboni, M. (2008). Mesial frontal cortex and super mirror neurons. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 31, 30.
Iacoboni, M., & Dapretto, M. (2006). The mirror neuron system and the consequences of its dysfunction. Nature Review Neuroscience, 7, 942–951.
Iacoboni, M., Molnar-Szakacs, I., Gallese, V., Buccino, G Mazziotta, J. C., & Rizzolatti, G. (2005). Grasping the intentions of others with one’s own mirror neuron system. PLoS Biology, 3(3), e79.
Iacoboni, M., Woods, R.P., Brass, M.,Bekkering,H.,Mazziotta, J.C. & Rizzolatti, G. (1999).Cortical mechanisms of human imitation.Science,286(5449),2526–2528.

Janssen, P., & Scherberger, H. (2015). Visual guidance in control of grasping. Annual Review of Neuroscience, 38, 69–86.

Jarrett, C. (2014). Great myths of the brain. London: Wiley Blackwell.

Kana, R. K., Wadsworth, H. M., & Travers, B.G. (2011). A systems level analysis of the mirror neuron hypothesis and imitation impairments in autism spectrum disorders. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Review, 35, 894–902.

Keysers, C., & Gazzola, V. (2014). Hebbian learning and predictive mirror neurons for actions, sensations and emotions. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 369(1644), 20130175.

Kilner, J. M., & Lemon, R. N. (2013). What we know currently about mirror neurons. Current Biology, 23(23), R1057–R1062.

Klin, A., Jones, W., Schultz, R., & Volkmar, F. (2003). The enactive mind, or from actions to cognition: Lessons from autism. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 358, 345–360.

Kosonogov, V. (2012). Why the mirror neurons cannot support action understanding. Neurophysiology, 44(6), 499–502.

Lai, M. C., Lombardo, M. V., & Baron-Cohen, S. (2014). Autism. Lancet, 383(9920), 896–910.

Lingnau, A., Gesierich, B., & Caramazza, A. (2009). Asymmetric fMRI adaptation reveals no evidence for mirror neurons in humans. Proceedings of the National
Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 106(24), 9925–9930.

Marsh, L. E., & Hamilton, A. F. de C. (2011). Dissociation of mirroring and mentalising systems in autism. NeuroImage, 56(3), 1511–1519.

Martineau, J., Andersson, F., Barthélémy, C., Cottier, J. P., & Destrieux, C. (2010). Atypical activation of the mirror neuron system during perception of hand motion in autism. Brain Research, 1320, 168–175.
Martineau, J., Cochin, S., Magne, R., & Barthélémy, C. (2008). Impaired cortical activation in autistic children:Is the mirror neuron system involved? International Journal of Psychophysiology, 68(1), 35–40.

Michel, T. M., Herholz, S., Finkelmeier, A., Schneider, F., Brügmann, E., Haeck, M., … Habel, U. (2011). P03-298-theneuronal correlates of empathy in autism spectrum disorders. European Psychiatry, 26(supp1), 1467.

Molenberghs, P., Cunnington, R., & Mattingley, J. B. (2009). Is the mirror neuron system involved in imitation? A short review and meta-analysis. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 33(7), 975–980.
Molenberghs, P., Cunnington, R., & Mattingley, J. B. (2012). Brain regions with mirror properties: A meta-analysis of 125 human fMRI studies. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 36(1), 341–349.

Montague, P. R., Dolan, R. J., Friston, K. J., & Dayan, P. (2012). Computational psychiatry. Trends Cognitive Science, 16(1), 72–80.

Mukamel, R., Ekstrom, A. D., Kaplan, J., Iacoboni, M., & Fried, I. (2010) Single-neuron responses in humans during execution and observation of actions. Current Biology, 20(8), 750–756.

Newman-Norlund, R. D., van Schie, H. T., van Zuijlen, A. M. J., & Bekkering, H. (2007). The mirror neuron system is more active during complementary compared with imitative action. Nature Neuroscience, 10, 817–818.

Oberman, L.M., Hubbard, E.M., McCleery, J.P., Altschuler, E. L., Ramachandran, V. S., & Pineda, J. A. (2005). EEG evidence for mirror neuron dysfunction in autism spectrum disorders. Cognitive Brain Research, 24, 190–198.

Perkins, T. J., Bittar, R. G., McGillivray, J. A., Cox, I. I., & Stokes, M. A. (2015). Increased premotor cortex activation in high functioning autism during action observation. Journal of Clinical Neuroscience, 22, 664–669.
Perkins, T. J., Stokes, M., A., McGillivray, J., & Bittar, R. (2010). Mirror neuron dysfunction in autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Clinical Neuroscience, 17, 1239–1243.

Pfeiffer, U. J., Vogeley, K., & Schilbach, L. (2013). From gaze cueing to dual eye-tracking: Novel approaches to investigate the neural correlates of gaze in social interaction. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 37, 2516–2528.

Pineda, J. A., Carrasco, K., Datko, M., Pillen, S., & Schalles, M. (2014). Neurofeedback training produces normalization in behavioural and electrophysiological measures of high-functioning autism. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences,369(1644), 20130183.

Pokorny, J. J., Hatt, N. V., Colombi, C., Vivanti, G., Rogers, S. J., & Rivera, S. M. (2015). The action observation system when observing hand actions in autism and typical development. Autism Research, 8(3), 284–296.

Puzzo, I., Cooper, N. R., Cantarella, S., Fitzgerald, P. B., & Russo, R. (2013). The effect of rTMS over the inferior parietal lobule on EEG sensorimotor reactivity differs according to self-reported traits of autism in typically developing individuals. Brain Research, 1541, 33–41.

Ramachandran, V. S., & Oberman, L. M. (2006). Broken mirrors: A theory of autism. Scientific America, 295, 62–69.

Raymaekers, R., Wiersema, J.R., & Roeyers, H. (2009). EEG study of the mirror neuron system in children with high functioning autism. Brain Research, 1304, 113 – 121.

Rizzolatti, G., & Fabbri-Destro, M. (2010). Mirror neurons: From discovery to autism. Experimental Brain Research, 200(3–4), 223–237.
Rizzolatti, G., & Sinigaglia, C. (2010). The functional role of the parieto-frontal mirror circuit: Interpretations and misinterpretations. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 11, 264–274.
Rizzolatti, G., & Craighero, L. (2004). The mirror-neuron system. Annual Review of Neuroscience, 27, 169–192.
Rizzolatti, G., Fogassi, L., & Gallese, V. (2006). Mirrors in the mind. Scientific American, 295(5), 54–61.

Robinson, E. B., Koenen, K. C., McCormick, M. C., Munir, K., Hallett, V., Happé, F., … Ronald, A. (2011). Evidence that autistic traits show the same etiology in the general population and at the quantitative extremes (5%, 2.5%, and 1%). Archives of General Psychiatry, 68(11), 1113–1121.

Ronald, A., & Hoekstra, R. A. (2011). Autism spectrum disorders and autistic traits: A decade of new twin studies. American Journal of Medical Genetics, 3, 255–274.

Ruysschaert, L., Warreyn, P., Wiersema, J. R., Oostra, A. & Roeyers, H. (2014). Exploring the role of neural mirroring in children with autism spectrum disorder. Autism Research, 7, 197–206.

Schilbach, L. (2014). On the relationship of online and offline social cognition. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 8, 278.
Schilbach, L. (2015). Eye to eye, face to face and brain to brain: Novel approaches to study the behavioral dynamics and neural mechanisms of social interactions. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, 3, 130–135.
Schilbach, L., Eickhoff, S. B., Cieslik, E. C., Kuzmanovic, B., & Vogeley, K. (2012). Shall we do this together? Social gaze influences action control in a comparison group, but not in individuals with high-functioning autism. Autism, 16(2), 151–162.
Schilbach, L., Timmermans, B., Reddy, V., Costall, A., Bente, G., Schlicht, T., & Vogeley, K. (2013). Toward a second-person neuroscience. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 36, 393–462.

Shaw, D. J., & Czekóová, K. (2013). Exploring the development of the mirror neuron system: Finding the right paradigm. Developmental Neuropsychology, 38(4), 256–271.

Simmons, D. R., Robertson, A. E., McKay, L. S., Toal, E.,

McAleer, P., & Pollick, F. E. (2009). Vision in autism spectrum disorders. Vision Research, 49, 2705–2739.

Sims, T. B., Neufeld, J., Johnstone, T., & Chakrabarti, B. (2014). Autistic traits modulate frontostriatal connectivity during processing of rewarding faces. Social Cognitive Affective Neuroscience, 9(12), 2010–2016.

Smith, I. M., & Bryson, S. E. (2007). Gesture imitation in autism: II. Symbolic gestures and pantomimed object use. Cognitive Neuropsychology,24, 679–700.

Southgate, V., & Hamilton, A. F. de C. (2008). Unbroken mirrors: Challenging a theory of autism. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 12(6), 225–229.

Sowden, S., Koehne, S., Catmur, C., Dziobek, I., & Bird, G. (2015). Intact automatic imitation and typical spatial compatibility in autism spectrum disorder: Challenging the broken mirror theory. Autism Research, doi:10.1002/aur.1511

Spaulding, S. (2013). Mirror neurons and social cognition. Mind and Language, 28(2), 233–257.

Spunt, R. P., Falk, E. B., & Lieberman, M. D. (2010). Dissociable neural systems support retrieval of how and why action knowledge. Psychological Science, 21, 1593–1598.

Stanovich, K. E. (2012). How to think straight about psychology (10th ed.). Upper Saddle River NJ: Pearson Education.

Steinhorst, A., & Funke, J. (2014). Mirror neuron activity is no proof for action understanding. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 8, 333.

Toal, F., Daly, E. M., Page, L., Deeley, Q., Hallahan, B., Bloemen, O., … Murphy, D. G. M. (2010). Clinical and anatomical heterogeneity in autistic spectrum disorder: A structural MRI study. Psychological Medicine, 40(7), 1171–1181.

Virji-Babul, N., Rose, A., Moiseeva, N., & Makan, N. (2012). Neural correlates of action understanding in infants: Influence of motor experience. Brain and Behavior, 2(3), 237–242.

Vivanti, G., Nadig, A., Ozonoff, S., & Rogers, S. J. (2008). What do children with autism attend to during imitation tasks? Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 101(3), 186–205.

Wang, X. J., & Krystal, J. H. (2014). Computational psychiatry. Neuron, 84, 638 – 654.

Wang, Y., & Quadflieg, S. (2015). In our own image? Emotional and neural processing differences when observing human-human vs human-robot interactions. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 10, 1515–1524.

Wicker, B., Keysers, C., Plailly, J., Royet, J. P., Gallese, V., & Rizzolatti, G. (2003). Both of us disgusted in my insula: The common neural basis of seeing and feeling disgust