Mirror neurons were first reported in the premotor cortex of macaque monkeys. These neurons fire, both when a monkey performs a specific action, but also when the monkey simply watches another monkey carries out the same action. This was the first description of a neural mechanism that allowed a direct matching between the visual description of an action and its execution. There is now evidence, from functional imaging studies, to suggest that mirror neurons not only exist in man but are present in several locations, including the inferior parietal lobule (IPL). The inferior parietal lobule (IPL), even more so than the rest of the cortex, underwent an accelerated enlargement in the phylogenetic line leading to the great apes and hominids- splitting into the supramarginal and angular.
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Last date updated on October, 2014