Mu Suppression, Mirror Neuron Activity, and Empathy




Lewis, Deziree Holly

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



The ability to understand and interpret the actions and intentions of others is vital to human interaction as well as learning. The purpose of this study was to examine differences in mu suppression to different types of point light stimuli (upright, inverted, and random) and relationships between mu suppression and empathy. Participants (N=7) completed two empathy scales, the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (Davis, 1980) and the Empathy Quotient (Baron-Cohen & Wheelwright, 2004). In addition, EEG data was collected while participants viewed point light stimuli. EEG results indicated significant mu suppression at all central electrode sites for all three stimulus types. Exploratory correlational analyses revealed significant correlations between mu suppression indices and scores on the perspective-taking (PT) subscale of the Interpersonal Reactivity Index. Although future research is necessary, these results provide a basis for future inquiries.



mu suppression, mirror neurons, empathy, theory of mind, point light walkers, Honors College


Lewis, D. H. (2010). Mu suppression, mirror neuron activity, and empathy (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University-San Marcos, San Marcos, Texas.


Rights Holder

Rights License

Rights URI