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Debbie Doo
Why You Need To Know about Mirror Neurons

Approx 2 min read if you don’t have a tween demanding you paint her room white, while she covers it with fairy lights. If so, then see you back here later😄

I must confess, I am completely and utterly hooked on reading. You give me a book and I go to a sacred place where the only thing that exists are the words on the page. A book invites you in like a kind neighbour offering you tea, before unleashing its wisdom, knowledge and surprise on you like a sudden thunderstorm.

So what does my love of reading (and thunderstorms apparently) have to do with mirrored neurons? Well, it was through I book that I discovered them.

Disclaimer alert. You may be surprised to know that I am not a doctor or a neuroscientist🧠 I am just a lover of sharing what I learn through books… 📚 Read on… 😍

What are mirror neurons? Mirror neurons are a variety of visuospatial neurons in the human brain that enables us to socially interact with one another through a finely tuned imitation process, phew… Essentially, mirror neurons imitates the actions and the emotions that we observe in others.

The famous neurophysiologist G.Rizzolatti sums it up…

“We are social beings. Our survival depends on our understanding the actions, intentions, and emotions of others. Mirror neurons allow us to understand other people’s mind, not only through conceptual reasoning, but through imitation. Feeling, not thinking.”

Humans owe a great deal of their success to their ability to learn, share and cooperate with one another. Mirror neurons are the circuitry in our brains that make us do that. They are what enable us to see an action and transform it into the motor command necessary to replicate this action. Pretty neat stuff. Mirror neurons allow us to share each other’s emotions and learn from their experiences. Let’s say we see someone taste a fresh banana and they look pleased. Our brain will share that action and emotion as if we were also eating that banana. However, if we see a person expressing disgust if let’s say the banana is rotten, we will also share this negative experience. In a sense the brain circuits almost blur the lines between somebody else’s experiences and our own.

Our brain truly is a wonderful organ that enables us to experience both the pain and joy of others while still building our own individuality and preferences. For me, insights into our biology helps me to be a better parent and a better person. Now that I know my children have mirror neurons, I’ll try even harder to act with love, empathy and understanding in all the challenges I face, knowing that there is a pretty good chance they’ll do the same…

That is, it from me. If you enjoyed this post, please show it some love and stay tuned for more in this space. As mentioned, I inhale books like air and I love to share what I learn.

Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll see you all again soon. Bye for now… Debbie Doo⭐

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