Mirror neurons are cells that are actively firing both during a movement and while witnessing another perform the same movement. This can give insight into why sports fans get so worked up while watching a game. They are acting out; imitating what they see because the body is priming them. Their action neurons are firing just by watching, Kind of a monkey see monkey do scenario. The witnessing individual is adopting the other individuals’ point of view. 2-
Mirror neurons contribute to feelings of empathy because when we see someone experiencing something we have experience, the same cells are firing that fired during our experience which allows us to actually “feel” what they are feeling. Mirror neurons allow us to make an emotional connection with another individual. Seeing can be like doing. 3-
Brain Researchers in Italy were studying a specific neuron in a monkey frontal lobe by recording the sound it made when he grabbed a peanut when, the researchers accidentally discovered the mirror neuron. A researcher walked in and grabbed the peanut and they heard the neuron fire. So the neuron fired even though the monkey didn’t move; seeing was doing for the neuron. 4-
Anosognosia is a condition where an individual has a disability and is unaware of it. Such as being unaware of their paralysis or blindness. Anosognosia is rooted in physiology, not just a defense mechanism. Ramachandran and colleagues found a connection between anosognosia and mirror neurons. What the scientists found, was that a man with a phantom hand could feel things being done to another individual hand by simple watching. They suggest this occurs because the mirror neurons are being activated but not the null signal which tells them it’s not really them experiencing the touch. So the mirror neuron activity was being experienced like a full blown conscious event. Awesome! 5-
Ramachandron suggests that through the development of our mirror neurons we as a human race were...
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