Mirror, Mirror in Your Brain
Since 1999 scientists have been studying neurons called mirror cells in the brain. Sound interesting?
They think these cells are what we use to understand the actions of others and also for learning new skills by imitating others.
All this seems important, but what’s interesting to me is that these cells might be the mechanism that helps us understand each other with empathy.
It made me wonder what scientists have thought in the past. Those of us who imitated and learned had been taught good manners? Of course not.
Do we mirror the anxiety or calmness of people close to us? Does this explain crowd behavior? Monkey see monkey do?
Does this mean that if you have more or better mirror cells (if this is even possible) you have more intense empathy than others?
Are your neurons more developed than someone unable to learn new skills?
This is new information. But isn’t it a type of reverse thinking; an example of finding a theorem to fit the behavior?
Identifying the cells for these qualities is useful to neuroscientists. I think discovering the location in the brain where these traits and skills reside may be most important and life-changing for those of us who lack them.
What do you think?
I live way out in the country, so there’s not a lot of people around to remind me. And my friends don’t think of me as ‘Kim Novak’ anymore anyway. It’s like they forgot, too. And so it’s nice.