2019 Apr 18 – Simulative strategies, including empathy and mirroring processes, are characterized by the activation of similar neurophysiological correlates in an observed individual and an observer. Therefore, the observer might use information about its own status to infer that of others, complementing learned and memorized knowledge. A game theoretical model developed by Fabrizio Mafessoni (Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany) and Michael Lachmann (Santa Fe Institute, New Mexico) suggests that empathy and emotional contagion might have evolved to assist mind-reading, which is used to predict and respond to others’ actions in a complex social environment. The authors further discuss the modulation of accidental coordination (i.e. imitative actions) in keeping with the model.