Herb' N Wisdom and Natural Living podcast podcast

Mirror Neurons and How to Harness Them

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In this article we are going to talk about Mirror Neurons, what they are and how they work. Wikipedia describes Mirror Neurons as this: A mirror neuron is a neuron that fires both when an animal acts and when the animal observes the same action performed by another.  Thus, the neuron "mirrors" the behavior of the other, as though the observer were itself acting. Such neurons have been directly observed in primate species.  Birds have been shown to have imitative resonance behaviors and neurological evidence suggests the presence of some form of mirroring system.  In humans, brain activity consistent with that of mirror neurons has been found in the premotor cortex, the supplementary motor area, the primary somatosensory cortex, and the inferior parietal cortex. The function of the mirror system in humans is a subject of much speculation. Some researchers in cognitive neuroscience and cognitive psychology consider that this system provides the physiological mechanism for the perception/action coupling (see the common coding theory). They argue that mirror neurons may be important for understanding the actions of other people, and for learning new skills by imitation. Some researchers speculate that mirror systems may simulate observed actions, and thus contribute to theory of mind skills, while others relate mirror neurons to language abilities. Neuroscientists such as Marco Iacoboni (UCLA) have argued that mirror neuron systems in the human brain help us understand the actions and intentions of other people. In a study published in March 2005, Iacoboni and his colleagues reported that mirror neurons could discern whether another person who was picking up a cup of tea planned to drink from it or clear it from the table. In addition, Iacoboni has argued that mirror neurons are the neural basis of the human capacity for emotions such as empathy. So, that was the basis for what mirror neurons are, what they are capable of and what scientist think about them.  I know there are different opinions regarding mirror neurons, but that's a good thing.  It's good to ask question, discuss different ideas until we find out what is factual and what is merely a theory. I find the whole thing fascinating and have used different ways and forms of tapping into this amazing tool we all have inside of us. For instance, if you can think of being empathetic while communicating with another person or group of people.  That is, if we are truly trying to understand their thoughts and feelings and allow ourselves to be influenced by their point of view we are much more likely to trigger mirror neurons and get the same kind of response in return from them.  Why?  Because they're going to be more empathetic to our response which means they will be more influenced by the way we're thinking.  The opposite is if I'm really trying to persuade someone to my point of view, they're more likely to put up a wall and defend their stand.  Or they might say it's pointless arguing with this person I'm just going to give in. I have personally witnessed this while serving on jury duty.  A juror didn't agree with the argument of the juror in charge, but he was tired of being beaten down.  So, although he didn't agree with the perspective, he still gave in to stop arguing and end the trial. His decision had nothing to do with evidence or the trial itself and thus it was a hung jury. It's much more powerful when we can mutually arrive at a destination.  And that happens as a result of empathetic thinking.  Understand I don't mean we should use this to influence people's core beliefs just so they agree with us.  In the case of the juror however, if the one in charge would have been more empathetic one or the other might have seen a different side or point of view.  That would have been beneficial not only to them but to the rest of us serving as jurors and the trial overall.  You see, because of shoving a point down someone's throat,

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