Mirror? Mirror? On the Brain
Recently, neuroscience has discovered the “mirror” neuron which has been dubbed the “Gandhi” neuron as it relates to empathy (Tell Tale Brain by V.S. Ramachandran, 2011). Empathy is the ability to have concerns or see another person’s viewpoint outside of your own. Every action or emotion we observe in others is recorded, stored and even rehearsed in our mind. This means, much of our “self” gets defined by what we see and take in from others. These mirror neurons help us calculate what the actions or thoughts of another person will be. We humans are the best species on the planet with this ability of reading each other. It might be why most religions have some version of the “golden rule” treating others as one would want to be treated. The video below is from TED and it’s V.S. Ramachandran, a favorite neuroscientist of mine, explaining how it all works.