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Published June 2006 | Published
Journal Article Open

A landmark study finds that when we look at sad faces, the size of the pupil we look at influences the size of our own pupil


We often mirror other people's behaviors, and one philosophical and psychological line of theories (Carruthers and Smith, 1996 ; Lipps, 1907 ) has long proposed that doing so allows us also to mirror other people's minds. Phenomena such as emotional contagion, imitation and other kinds of mimicry have been argued to constitute ontogenetic and phylogenetic precursors from which empathy, simulation and other abilities emerge in adult humans whereby we gain knowledge about the feelings, intentions and thoughts of others (Meltzoff and Decety, 2003 ). Neurobiological and psychophysiological data provide examples supporting this idea (Blakemore and Decety, 2001 ; Gallese et al ., 2004 ; Goldman and Sripada, 2005 ), but the details remain poorly understood and the theories remain debated (Adolphs, in press; Jacob and Jeannerod, 2005 ; Saxe, 2005 ).

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© 2006 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Published: 01 June 2006.

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August 19, 2023
October 19, 2023