Abstract

How is it that humans can react emotionally to fiction when they know it is not real? Following the lead of Denis Dutton in The Art Instinct, we propose a solution to this so-called paradox of fiction. The paradox assumes that our conscious awareness that something is not real should prevent an emotional reaction. But such reactions are often the result of aptly named “mirror neurons” that mimic the brain activity of those around us and cause us to mimic the emotions of others. So because mirror neurons do not distinguish between fiction and reality, we react emotionally to both fiction and reality.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. A144-A147
Launched on MUSE
2014-11-13
Open Access
No
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