A lesson in falsifiability from mirror neurons and the language instinct theory

Old School Script

By Kris (with a “K”)

I just finished listening to a podcast called “What do Mirror Neurons Actually Do?” on the Brain Science Podcast. In the podcast, Dr. Campbell interviews Dr. Hickok who recently wrote a book called The Myth of Mirror Neurons. Aside from the fascinating content, one of the most interesting take-aways was the lesson Dr. Hickok learned when doing his research: Don’t blindly trust popular opinion!

Of course popular thought is not always wrong—though my first Hebrew teacher did use to say “The majority was always wrong in the Old Testament”—but some/oftentimes it needs to be challenged. Dr. Hickok discovered this firsthand when he realized mirror neuron research had been using an invalidated framework from a different (but related) field of study.

He noted that the consensus view seemed, at first glance, the most plausible option for explaining the function of mirror neurons. But just as quick, he…

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