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Evidence for mirror systems in emotions.

Bastiaansen JA, Thioux M, Keysers C - Philos. Trans. R. Soc. Lond., B, Biol. Sci. (2009)

Bottom Line: We will show that seeing the emotions of others also recruits regions involved in experiencing similar emotions, although there does not seem to be a reliable mapping of particular emotions onto particular brain regions.The relative contributions of these components to a particular emotion and their interrelationship are largely unknown, although recent experimental evidence suggests that motor simulation may be a trigger for the simulation of associated feeling states.Through their integration with, and modulation by, higher cognitive functions, they could be at the core of important social functions, including empathy, mind reading and social learning.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: BCN NeuroImaging Center, University of Groningen, Antonius Deusinglaan 2, 9713 AW Groningen, The Netherlands.

ABSTRACT
Why do we feel tears well up when we see a loved one cry? Why do we wince when we see other people hurt themselves? This review addresses these questions from the perspective of embodied simulation: observing the actions and tactile sensations of others activates premotor, posterior parietal and somatosensory regions in the brain of the observer which are also active when performing similar movements and feeling similar sensations. We will show that seeing the emotions of others also recruits regions involved in experiencing similar emotions, although there does not seem to be a reliable mapping of particular emotions onto particular brain regions. Instead, emotion simulation seems to involve a mosaic of affective, motor and somatosensory components. The relative contributions of these components to a particular emotion and their interrelationship are largely unknown, although recent experimental evidence suggests that motor simulation may be a trigger for the simulation of associated feeling states. This mosaic of simulations may be necessary for generating the compelling insights we have into the feelings of others. Through their integration with, and modulation by, higher cognitive functions, they could be at the core of important social functions, including empathy, mind reading and social learning.

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Anatomical locations of affective components of simulation. (a) Sagittal view of a human brain with the location of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). (b) Coronal view of a human brain showing the location of the insula and the amygdala.
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RSTB20090058F2: Anatomical locations of affective components of simulation. (a) Sagittal view of a human brain with the location of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). (b) Coronal view of a human brain showing the location of the insula and the amygdala.

Mentions: Disgust is closely related to the phylogenetically primitive sensation of distaste. In its most basic form, from which more developed forms such as moral disgust may have evolved, it involves an oral defence to potentially harmful foods and body products (Haidt et al. 1997; Rozin et al. 2000). This makes disgust relatively easy to trigger repeatedly using aversive tastes and odours. The primary experience of taste and distaste can be located in the transition zone between the anterior part of the insular cortex together with the frontal opercular taste cortex (Yaxley et al. 1990; Small et al. 1999), a region we refer to as the IFO. The experience of unpleasant odours triggers activity in a similar region (Royet et al. 2003). Through its numerous connections to structures such as the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), frontal operculum, anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), lateral premotor cortex, basal ganglia, temporal lobe and amygdala, the insula (see figureĀ 2b) can anatomically fulfil the requirements for associating offensive tastes and smells with other people's expressions of disgust (Augustine 1996). This is supported by the finding of distinct electrophysiological responses in the anterior insula (AI) to facial expressions of disgust in the observer (Krolak-Salmon et al. 2003).


Evidence for mirror systems in emotions.

Bastiaansen JA, Thioux M, Keysers C - Philos. Trans. R. Soc. Lond., B, Biol. Sci. (2009)

Anatomical locations of affective components of simulation. (a) Sagittal view of a human brain with the location of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). (b) Coronal view of a human brain showing the location of the insula and the amygdala.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2865077&req=5

RSTB20090058F2: Anatomical locations of affective components of simulation. (a) Sagittal view of a human brain with the location of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). (b) Coronal view of a human brain showing the location of the insula and the amygdala.
Mentions: Disgust is closely related to the phylogenetically primitive sensation of distaste. In its most basic form, from which more developed forms such as moral disgust may have evolved, it involves an oral defence to potentially harmful foods and body products (Haidt et al. 1997; Rozin et al. 2000). This makes disgust relatively easy to trigger repeatedly using aversive tastes and odours. The primary experience of taste and distaste can be located in the transition zone between the anterior part of the insular cortex together with the frontal opercular taste cortex (Yaxley et al. 1990; Small et al. 1999), a region we refer to as the IFO. The experience of unpleasant odours triggers activity in a similar region (Royet et al. 2003). Through its numerous connections to structures such as the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), frontal operculum, anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), lateral premotor cortex, basal ganglia, temporal lobe and amygdala, the insula (see figureĀ 2b) can anatomically fulfil the requirements for associating offensive tastes and smells with other people's expressions of disgust (Augustine 1996). This is supported by the finding of distinct electrophysiological responses in the anterior insula (AI) to facial expressions of disgust in the observer (Krolak-Salmon et al. 2003).

Bottom Line: We will show that seeing the emotions of others also recruits regions involved in experiencing similar emotions, although there does not seem to be a reliable mapping of particular emotions onto particular brain regions.The relative contributions of these components to a particular emotion and their interrelationship are largely unknown, although recent experimental evidence suggests that motor simulation may be a trigger for the simulation of associated feeling states.Through their integration with, and modulation by, higher cognitive functions, they could be at the core of important social functions, including empathy, mind reading and social learning.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: BCN NeuroImaging Center, University of Groningen, Antonius Deusinglaan 2, 9713 AW Groningen, The Netherlands.

ABSTRACT
Why do we feel tears well up when we see a loved one cry? Why do we wince when we see other people hurt themselves? This review addresses these questions from the perspective of embodied simulation: observing the actions and tactile sensations of others activates premotor, posterior parietal and somatosensory regions in the brain of the observer which are also active when performing similar movements and feeling similar sensations. We will show that seeing the emotions of others also recruits regions involved in experiencing similar emotions, although there does not seem to be a reliable mapping of particular emotions onto particular brain regions. Instead, emotion simulation seems to involve a mosaic of affective, motor and somatosensory components. The relative contributions of these components to a particular emotion and their interrelationship are largely unknown, although recent experimental evidence suggests that motor simulation may be a trigger for the simulation of associated feeling states. This mosaic of simulations may be necessary for generating the compelling insights we have into the feelings of others. Through their integration with, and modulation by, higher cognitive functions, they could be at the core of important social functions, including empathy, mind reading and social learning.

Show MeSH