Friday, July 2, 2010

Mirror Neurons

Mirror neurons are a recent discovery that dramatically altered the established views on how the brain works. Basically, mirror neurons fire when you experience something or when you perceive someone experiencing the same thing. That is, mirror neuron systems do not understand the difference between you and someone else. In my opinion, mirror neurons are also centrally involved in deep spiritual experiences. I will post more on this in the future but the point I want to make right now is that there is a clear neural basis for experiences devoid of any notion of a self. Here is a good introductory video: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/sciencenow/3204/01.html

This discovery is quite literally fuelling a revolution in terms of how scientists explain compassion and love. A number of books have come out on this. I am working on a paper related to this as well. But in the meantime here are some of the recent books on this

Mirrors in the Brain: How Our Minds Share Actions, Emotions, and ExperienceMirroring People: The New Science of How We Connect with OthersMirror Neuron Systems: The Role of Mirroring Processes in Social Cognition (Contemporary Neuroscience)Mirroring People: The Science of Empathy and How We Connect with OthersAction to Language via the Mirror Neuron SystemOn Being Moved: From Mirror Neurons to Empathy (Advances in Consciousness Research)The Mirror Neuron System: A Special Issue of Social Neuroscience (Special Issues of Social Neuroscience)Mirror Neurons and the Evolution of Brain and Language (Advances in Consciousness Research, 42)Action to Language via the Mirror Neuron SystemNeuroscience meets dance/movement therapy: Mirror neurons, the therapeutic process and empathy [An article from: The Arts in Psychotherapy]

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