When I google Mirror Neurons I get in excess of 8 million hits on google. This is certainly a popular topic sparking much conjecture on both empathy and how they come to be.
From the linked wiki article: “To date, no widely accepted neural or computational models have been put forward to describe how mirror neuron activity supports cognitive functions. The subject of mirror neurons continues to generate intense debate. In 2014, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B published a special issue entirely devoted to mirror neuron research.”
I don’t think this takes any exotic explanation. As I see it “mirror neurons” are a incorrect interpretation of how semantic meaning is distributed across neural maps.
Check out this paper:
How neurons make meaning: brain mechanisms for embodied and abstract-symbolic semantics
Direct your attention to figure one. When you read this you should see that semantic meaning is distributed to the areas that are related to the motor-sensory loops that are involved in running your own body. This is the physical substrate for your grounding of semantic structures. I’m sure that this is why you see activity for the perception of these things in others.
This is where that semantic meaning is stored. Since we all share much the same wiring this activation pattern will be relatively constant across individuals and to a lessor extent - species.