Quoting from Wikipedia’s entry on “Mirror neurons”:
“A mirror neuron is a neuron which fires both when an animal performs an action and when the animal observes the same action performed by another animal. Thus, the neuron “mirrors” the behavior of another animal, as though the observer were itself performing the action.” Go to the wikipedia entry >>
I stumbled on a fairly old but still interesting article on Scientific American about mirror neurons.
“Action performed by one person can activate motor pathways in another’s brain responsible for performing the same action. The second [person] understands viscerally what the first is doing because this mirror mechanism let her experience it in her own mind.” (Rizzolatti, Fogassi, Gallesse)
Remote emotional experience?
“These mirror neurons” provide a direct internal experience, and therefore understanding of another person’s act, intention or emotion.”(Rizzolatti, Fogassi, Gallesse)
Their relationship to learning
“Mirror neurons may also underlie the ability to imitate norther’s action, and thereby learn, making the mirror mechanism a bridge between individual brains for communication and connection on multiple levels.”(Rizzolatti, Fogassi, Gallesse)
Mirror neurons have been linked to empathy, the ability to recognize and empathize with emotional messages from others.
This may be just the beginning
• I believe that mirror neurons are part of our non-verbal communication system.
• I believe that mirror neurons are just the beginning of a potential recognition of various intra-system and inter-system communication systems operating within living organisms.
Related in print
Giacomo Rizzolatti, Leonardo Fogassi and Vittorio Gallese. “Mirrors in the Mind”. Scientific American, November 2006. p.54-61.
Keyword: Daniel Montano, Dan Montano, user experience design, information architect