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Mirror Neurons

Robert Krulwich, Daniel Glaser, Giacomo Rizzolatti, Marco Iacoboni, Lindsay Schenk, V.S Ramachandran * | 13:53


Hello again. Gaze into a mirror and what do you see? Well, I see my face of course, but in my face I see moods. I see shifts of feeling. We humans are really good at reading faces and bodies. Cuz if I can look at you. And feel what you're feeling. I can learn from you, connect to you. I can love you. Empathy is one of our finer traits, and when it happens, it happens so easily.

Perhaps because, and this is brand new science, this is just out of the lab. We may have some special circuitry in our brains that helps us whenever we. At each other, ask yourself, why do people get so involved so deeply, deeply involved with such anguish, such pain, such nail biting tension over football.

Cleveland Browns are gambling on defense. Why are we such suckers for sports?

And it's not just sports. We can lose it completely at the movies, at video games, watching a dance. Is there something about humans, humans particularly that allows us to connect so deeply when we watch other people watch them. Watch them playing. Watch their faces. Well, as it happens, scientists have an explanation for this strange ability to connect.

It's new. It had never been found on the cellular level before. A set of brain cells found on either side of the head among all the billions of long branching cells in our brain, these so-called mirror neurons have surprising power. What we found is the mechanism that underlies something, which is absolutely fundamental to the way that we see other people in the world.

And it began entirely by accident at a laboratory in the lovely old city of Parma, Italy, where a group of brain researchers was working with monkey. And they were testing a neuron that's a brain cell that always fired, made this sound. Yeah. Whenever the monkey would grab for a peanut, so the lab had all these peanuts around, and whenever the monkey made its move, the neuron would fire scientists thought, now here's a neuron that is essential to motion.

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