Giacomo Rizzolatti

Giacomo Rizzolatti

Professor Emeritus of Human Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Parma, Italy. Director of the URT Parma of CNR Neuroscience Institute.


The mirror brain: Past, present, and future

Mirror mechanism is a basic mechanism that transforms sensory representations into a motor format. In the first part of my talk I will describe the functions of the mirror mechanism that is located in the parieto-fontal network of the macaque monkey. 

I will present then human data on the same network discussing the specific way in which the mirror mechanism enables us to understand others. This mechanism mediates what, with Corrado Sinigaglia, I named “understanding others from inside”. 

In the third part of my talk I will discuss the role of the mirror mechanism in understanding the basic Darwinian emotions and the subtle emotional states that Daniel Stern called “vitality forms”. I will conclude discussing my recent data on emotions obtained with stereo EEG.