What are mirror neurons?
Mirror-neural response as a phenomenon waswas discovered in the early nineties. At that time, experiments were conducted with animals. Exploring the monkeys, some groups of scientists have noted neuronal activation at various points. For example, when capturing an object or another, activity was registered in the motor cortex. Thus, it is logical to assume that at the moment when the monkey reaches for an apple or orange, neurons that are associated with one or another action are activated.
In the course of the experiment, it was found that, ifshow the object, but not give the monkey the opportunity to take it, will activate another group of neurons from those that are involved in the moment associated with this action. It should be noted that such active nerve cells were found in the motor cortex. Thus, the conclusion that the cortex is in some way a device for performing simple actions did not fit the information that was obtained during the experiments.
As a result of the research, it was found that inthe moment when the experimenter came and in front of the monkey took an apple, the animal began to activate the same nerve cells as when it performed the action itself.
It is also noted that when a person observesthe action of another living organism, the groups of nerve cells that are associated with the human need to perform the same action or with the same type of behavior are activated. These groups of nerve cells are called mirror neurons.
This concept was not chosen by chance. A neuron is a nerve cell. Scientists suggest that, to some extent, they are all related to the actions that a person does, with everything that he can do. Later, experts found that mirror neurons are found in a large enough number. These nerve cells in some way reflect other people's actions. In this case, the actions can be completely different, and this is not necessarily the capture of any objects.
Mirror neurons, when activated, promotemuscle contraction, similar to the one that could occur in the case of an independent performance of a particular action. This phenomenon, for example, scientists have identified in the process of research the reaction of people who watched playing a musical instrument or dancing. In particular, this phenomenon was manifested in the case if the subjects were not able to play or were unfamiliar with dances. Along with this, not always mirror neurons are activated and contribute to the further manifestation of the reaction. Specialists concluded that nerve cells are excited under certain conditions, at a certain time. In the course of the experiments, certain phenomena were revealed and described, which make it possible to assert that the mirror neurons manifest their activity within the system, but not separately.
To conduct research on registration of brainactivity can be done using tomography (positron emission or magnetic resonance imaging). It should be noted that the researchers found that in the presence of individual forms of autism, the above phenomenon of repetition of a particular action is absent.
According to some scientists, the presence of a personthe ability to empathize with other people, understand, represent intentions, construct certain assumptions about what can happen to other living beings, mirror neurons provide.
It should be noted that the question of whether allnerve cells have the ability to reflect, is in the research stage. However, with great confidence, scientists say that it is mirror neurons that provide the ability to imitate other people's actions.