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Embodied Communication in Humans and
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Ipke Wachsmuth, Manuela Lenzen, and Günther Knoblich

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199231751

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199231751.001.0001

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Mirrors for embodied communication

Mirrors for embodied communication

(p.111) 6 Mirrors for embodied communication
Embodied Communication in Humans and Machines

Wolfgang Prinz

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers mirrors from a cognitive science perspective. It argues that mirrors provide means for people to perceive themselves in new ways and in different perspectives. It shows how the mirror metaphor can be used to describe mental functions and representations (‘mirrors inside’) as well as social functions that constrain people's actions (‘mirrors outside’). This mirror metaphor helps us to understand how people mimic each other, imitate each other, and engage in joint action. It also explains the formation of a mental self that is ‘tantamount to the creation of a homunculus’ within the body.

Keywords:   mirrors, cognitive science, mirror metaphor, mirrors inside, mirrors outside, mental self

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