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Imitation in Social Life and Its Brain Supports

  • David D. Franks
Chapter
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Sociology book series (BRIEFSSOCY)

Abstract

The chapter begins by noting our own cultural bias against imitation. Reasons why we imitate are discussed. The concept of social pattern building is presented and examples of imitation as unconscious are given. Creative aspects of imitation are stressed, and imitation is seen as a social glue while also contributing to intersubjectivity. Imitation is next seen as a cause of stereotyping. The neurological enablers of imitation are described next. Two cognitive abilities are identified that make imitation possible. Problems with matching our gestures with others are reviewed. The importance of the notion of affordance follows. Next, imitation mirror neurons and their positive effect on intersubjectivity are mentioned. The many brain supports for imitation are reviewed and implications for its importance for survival are mentioned.

Keywords

Neural systems Correspondence problems Mirror neurons Priming Affordance Intersubjectivity 

References

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Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • David D. Franks
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA

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