Human Connection - Mirror Neurons
Have you ever seen a friend stand up and strike their forehead hard on the corner of a cupboard door? You feel for the person, right?
Yes, you feel bad, but I mean that your brain really experiences the intense throbbing that comes after the smack as if you injured yourself.
The same neurons fire whether you are performing the action or watching it happen.
It works for pleasure and happiness as well.
You can't help it.
Your brain just does it on its own. You feel the bump on the noggin as if you hit your head instead of the friend. At least your brain does.
Special neurons in your brain duplicate what your friend feels both physically and emotionally - mirror neurons.
It doesn't even have to be real life. When I watch House, and they show gory pictures and needle punctures, I have to look away because the empathic pain is so intense.
The special cells in the brain are mirror neurons, and without them, they human race would be a lot different - especially in social terms. Scholars believe that emotional bonds with others develop because we can feel their pain or their point of view.
They also believe that they are responsible for much more including talking, imitation, and language.
I want you to watch this TedTalk real quick so you can understand the basics of mirror neurons because I want to make some extensions from Ramachandran's report that are essential to your relationships, writing, using social media, and blogging.
Go ahead, watch.
I have studied mirror neurons for several years now and this video still blows my mind. Ramachandran speaks of the most sophisticated and complex capabilities of the human brain.
We are able to empathize - feel, think, and act - with other humans, making us social animals.
In the years since their discovery, massive research campaigns have explored the implications of these powers in humans, and it will pay you dividends to learn as much as you can about the mirror neurons that drive them.
According to USC's Arbib, PhD, "the neurons, located in the premotor cortex just in front of the motor cortex, are a mechanism for recognizing the meaning of actions made by other." We feel the emotions, understand the meaning of movement and gestures, and intuit the intentions of others.
This is a large part of the future of brain research, and our study, knowledge, and understanding are exploding.
If you don't learn about mirror neurons, you will be outdated in understanding who we are and how we communicate with each other. According to research by PsychCentral:
The implication is quite significant. Iacoboni states that our natural impulse as human beings is to create an immediate emotional connection with people. Our natural impulse is to empathize with others. However, when a label is use to identify someone as belonging to a different group, the brain shuts down the natural response of seeking to emotionally connect.
You will be a better blogger with knowledge of mirror neurons. Ramachandran predicts that "mirror neurons will do for psychology what DNA did for biology,â ... âThey will provide a unifying framework and help explain a host of mental abilities that have hitherto remained mysterious.â
The scope of the connected abilities is vast and complex, and you can better understand your fellow humans by learning more. In large part you will understand more fully how empathy works in human beings.
Rather than go too far into the fascinating science, I want to make this information actionable for you.
You will find the following strategies helpful in targeting and connecting with your audience.
What mirror neurons reveal about how your readers understand and feel:
You can see the value of understanding how the brain functions in this way, and the best writers out there are the ones who are able to empathize most effectively, using their mirror neurons.
What more would you like to know about the science behind mirror neurons? The history? What questions do you have about all this?
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