This blog has not made much of a fuss about "mirror neurons," the name given to neurons that fire both when an individual does something and when the individual observes another individual do something. For example, a neuron might fire when a monkey reaches for a carrot and when the monkey sees another reach for a carrot. I have stayed away from discussing these nerves because it seemed to me the research hasn't gotton to the next stage: explaining how human mirror neurons differ functionally from monkey mirrors. Nevertheless, technical speculations about language evolution sometimes mention mirror neurons as critical to understanding actions and imitating them. So I was startled to see that in the latest issue of The Journal of Neuroscience (Oct. 29, 2008) there is a paper denying that humans even have mirror neurons. (Paper summary here.) So I suppose more time will have to pass before this blog reports on them.