The Neurotics

Girard's followers come from many disciplines: anthropology, literary study, history, sociology—you name it. This niche group has deep admiration for his work in psychology and neuroscience. They love to talk about imitation and all of the ways people learn by mimesis. Even the hardcore scientists in the group go into raptures over imitation; they've even located a part of the brain that enacts it. Talk about getting some hard science legitimacy.

Andrew Meltzoff

This guy would be an ideal nanny, but unfortunately his time is taken up with studying infant and child development and being president of the Neurotics. He took a liking to Girard's ideas because, really, how else do babies learn how to talk but by imitation? His highly readable article "Imitation of Facial and Manual Gestures by Human Neonates" is practically a manifesto. As the super complicated title suggests, human infants get their ideas about sticking out their tongues and flipping the bird from the adults around them. They didn't lick it off the walls.

Vittorio Gallese
Capo di tutti

This lovable Italian professor of physiology is, as his official title suggests, the boss of bosses. He brings a lot to the Neurotics. He cooked up this great theory around Mirror Neurons, which he identified as the human mechanism that allows us to simulate what we see. He has wacky bumper stickers that say things like "Monkey See, Monkey Do" and "I Break when Other People Break."

Scott R. Garrels
Head of PR

Look—it's probably sufficient to say that this chap published an article titled "Imitation, Mirror Neurons, and Mimetic Desire: Convergence Between the Mimetic Theory of René Girard and Empirical Research on Imitation." Pretty essential connection, right? Oh—and the guy is really into violence, which is a pet subject for Girard.

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