Monday, January 16, 2006

Mirror Neurons

Cells That Read Minds. This NYT article on mirror neurons is not only interesting from a scientific perspective; it's interesting from a philosophical perspective as well.

"Social emotions like guilt, shame, pride, embarrassment, disgust and lust are based on a uniquely human mirror neuron system found in a part of the brain called the insula, Dr. Keysers said. In a study not yet published, he found that when people watched a hand go forward to caress someone and then saw another hand push it away rudely, the insula registered the social pain of rejection. Humiliation appears to be mapped in the brain by the same mechanisms that encode real physical pain, he said."



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