Zeno's Paradox
While critical thinking may not make up for a lack of knowledge, it is essential for gaining knowledge.
Thursday, February 24, 2005:  
MIRROR NEURONS and imitation learning as the driving force behind "the great leap forward" in human evolution by V.S. Ramachandran
The discovery of mirror neurons in the frontal lobes of monkeys, and their potential relevance to human brain evolution — which I speculate on in this essay — is the single most important "unreported" (or at least, unpublicized) story of the decade. I predict that mirror neurons will do for psychology what DNA did for biology: they will provide a unifying framework and help explain a host of mental abilities that have hitherto remained mysterious and inaccessible to experiments.
Read My Mind - New Scientist magazine
A CHILD watches her mother pick up a toy. The child smiles: Mum wants to play. A husband watches his wife pluck car keys from a table. He shivers: she really is leaving this time. A nurse watches a needle being jabbed into an elderly patient. She flinches: it must have hurt.

How do these people know what the other person is thinking? How do they judge intentions and feelings, or assign goals or beliefs to the other? It sounds simple, but the child could just as easily have decided that Mum was leaving or the husband that his wife wanted to play. Yet they didn't. They knew.

Vittorio Gallese, Giacomo Rizzolatti and their colleagues at the University of Parma have identified an entirely new class of neurons. These neurons are active when their owners perform a certain task, and in this respect are wholly unremarkable. But, more interestingly, the same neurons fire when their owner watches someone else perform that same task. The team has dubbed the novel nerve cells "mirror" neurons, because they seem to be firing in sympathy, reflecting or perhaps simulating the actions of others.
The discovery and study of mirror neurons is simply amazing. The function of mirror neurons could explain many aspects of human cognition and behavior.

    -  Ron  12:06 PM

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