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The debate about mirror neurons

By on July 25, 2014
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When teaching rapport, mirroring and matching, and also when teaching anchoring with gestures, we use the idea of ‘mirror neurons’ to explain these ideas more easily. Mirror neurons are brain cells that fire off when we observe an action, as if we were doing that action ourselves.

Because observing mirror neurons can involve invasive brain scanning procedures, they have been observed in monkeys but not yet in humans. These difficulties in observing mirror neurons in humans, along with some over-hyped early claims about mirror neurons by researchers and other neuroscientists, has triggered a debate as to the role and even the existence of mirror neurons in the human brain.

Nevertheless it is without doubt that the human brain contains some mechanism that allows us to ‘understand’ an action or emotion through observation. Either we have mirror neurons or we have something equivalent within our mind. Below find an article discussing the mirro neuron debate.

http://www.theguardian.com/science/neurophilosophy/2013/aug/23/mirror-neuronsMirror neurons have been used to explain everything from language acquisition to autism. Summary: Mirror neurons are cells that fire during both the execution and observation of a specific action. Mirror neurons were discovered in monkeys, but it’s still not clear whether they also exist in the human brain. Read more…

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