In this 2006 book, internationally recognised experts from child development, computer science, linguistics, neuroscience, primatology and robotics discuss the role of the mirror neuron system for the recognition of hand actions and the evolutionary basis for the brain mechanisms that support language.
Preface; Part I. Two Perspectives: 1. The mirror system hypothesis on the linkage of action and languages Michael Arbib; 2. The origin and evolution of language: a plausible, strong-AI account Jerry Hobbs; Part II. Brain, Evolution and Comparative Analysis: 3. Cognition, imitation and culture in the great apes Craig Stanford; 4. The signer as an embodied mirror neuron: neural systems underlying sign language and action Karen Emmorey; 5. Neural homologies and the grounding of neurolinguistics Michael Arbib and Mihail Bota; Part III. Dynamical Systems in Action and Language: 6. Dynamical systems: brain, body and imitation Stefan Schaal; 7. The role of vocal tract gestural action units in understanding the evolution of phonology Louis Goldstein, Dani Byrd and Elliot Saltzman; 8. Lending a helping hand to hearing: a motor theory of speech perception Jeremy I. Skipper, Howard C. Nusbaum and Steven L. Small; Part IV. From Mirror System to Syntax and Theory of Mind: 9. Attention and the minimal subscene Laurent Itti and Michael Arbib; 10. Action verbs, argument structure constructions, and the mirror neuron system David Kemmerer; 11. Linguistic corpora and theory of mind Andrew Gordon; Part V. Development of Action and Language: 12. The development of grasping and the mirror system Erhan Oztop, Nina Bradley and Michael Arbib; 13. Development of goal-directed imitation, object manipulation and language in humans and robots Iona D. Goga and Aude Billard; 14. Affordances, effectivities and the mirror system in child development Patricia Zukow-Goldring; 15. Implications of mirror neurons for the ontogeny and phylogeny of cultural processes: the examples of tools and language Patricia Greenfield.