Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Short Communication

Action planning supplements mirror systems in language evolution

Bruce Bridgeman a1
a1 Department of Psychology, Social Sciences 2, University of California, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA 95064


Mirror systems must be supplemented by a planning capability to allow language to evolve. A capability for creating, storing, and executing plans for sequences of actions, having evolved in primates, was applied to sequences of communicatory acts. Language could exploit this already-existing capability. Further steps in language evolution may parallel steps seen in the development of modern children.