Another fascinating TED video from the neuroscientist VS Ramachandran about some particular neurons in the human brain called mirror neurons, which he jokingly calls ‘Gandhi’, ‘Dalai Lama’ neurons or empathy neurons. According to VS Ramachandran, these mirror neurons might hold some keys to understand better seemingly unconnected subjects such as imitation and emulation, empathy, self-awareness and the ‘big bang in human evolution’ which took place some 40,000 years ago.
…the mirror neuron system underlies the interface allowing you to rethink about issues like consciousness, representation of self, what separates you from other human beings, what allows you to empathize with other human beings, and also even things like the emergence of culture and civilization, which is unique to human beings. From TED talk, The neurons that shaped civilization, VS Ramachandran
To know more, two articles from VS Ramachandran available in Edge
1. The neurology of self-awareness, Article in Edge [1.8.07]
2. Mirror neurons and imitation learning as the driving force behind “the great leap forward” in human evolution, Article in Edge [6.1.2000]