Mirror neurons and neurotherapy demonstrate why optimism and positive attitude are important.
Adam Rifkin stashed this in Brain
Liz Jacobs writes:
When Roberto D’Angelo and Francesca Fideli discovered that their 10-day-old son, Mario, had suffered a stroke, they were shocked. Maria was unable to control the left side of his body and, to help their son, they opted to participate in a pilot program for mirror neuron rehabilitation. As they explain in the talk, mirror neuron therapy involved showing Mario objects and demonstrating how to pick them up and use them. As D’Angelo explains, “The theory of mirror neuron says that, in your brain, as you watch me do this, you are activating exactly the same neurons as if you do the actions.”
This therapy led to a discovery: Mario was mirroring his parents’ emotions as much as he was mirroring their physical movements. Their solution: to couple a positive attitude with cutting-edge neurotherapy. Their story culminates with an inspirational message about the importance of positivity and optimism in confronting challenges.
Interested in hearing more about mirror neurons? Below, some resources for further information on the science behind the D’Angelo’s inspiring story.
- Research and writing about mirror neurons has exploded since 2005, when the team of researchers from Italy’s University of Parma made a series of breakthroughs to understand the function of mirror neurons in humans. This article from the American Psychological Association is one of the first to explain the importance of mirror neurons in detail..
- NOVA’s explanatory video on mirror neurons outlines the basic thinking behind how these cells work. Scientific findings suggest that the neurons that fire in our brain when we are physically performing an action are the same neurons that fire when we observe someone else doing the same action. This explains why we feel pain when watching someone get smacked in the face with a frisbee, or why we feel sad when watching Meryl Streep weigh Sophie’s choice. Mirror neurons raise fascinating questions about learned human behavior..
- Developing research on mirror neurons brings us one step closer to understanding the way our brains function when processing information and experiencing empathy. This overview of current researchfrom Scientific American provides an update on the current understanding of mirror neurons, and what work still needs to be done..
- Mirroring People is the first book written in layman’s terms about the incredible science of mirror neurons. Marco Iacoboni, a leading expert in the field, explains the incredible impact that this neurological wiring has on our social interactions and our capacity to understand each other’s emotions. He argues that mirror neurons are central to our basic functionality, and to the shape of our morality, politics and relationships..
- This conversation between Iacoboni and the Dalai Lama raises fascinating questions. Iacoboni’s sharp scientific mind mixes with the Dalai Lama’s reflections on spirituality to probe into the inner-workings of our mind, body and soul. The conversation explores the human tendency to make bad decisions and engage in negative behaviors, and offers hopeful recourse to address these actions..
- TED speaker VS Ramachandran is one of the leading researchers on mirror neurons. His talk from TEDIndia 2009 outlines some of the most controversial and radical thinking on the importance of mirror neurons in our individual and human development...
- Mirror neurons even play an important role in watching sports. The rush of excitement and adrenaline you feel right after Lionel Messi scores, or the feeling in the pit of your stomach when LeBron’s shot bounces off the rim might be your mirror neurons firing.This article from Grantland offers concrete examples and explanations for some of the most common sensations experienced by sports fans everywhere..
- And finally, this interview with VS Ramachandran at Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center updates his work on the connection between empathy and mirror neurons. His cutting-edge research might offer some concrete evidence to support the D’Angelos’ optimistic philosophy.
Here's the TED Talk:
Just six minutes of inspiration:
Who mirrors whom?
Good question. We are each mirrors to each other.
I found in years of working with profoundly ill and suffering people, not to mention personal relationships, my mirror became pretty cracked and damaged.
Those mirror neurons if true, are the seed of the conditioned mind. Not the luminous mind.
You have to look beyond because if always being conditioned by the reflection. Every time you help to clean the mirror of another you dirty your own and theirs at the same time. Or you start to argue who has the more clean mirror, cracking both.
I am very happy that the family in the video is doing better, but the idea their child is a failure is horrible ego. I child has to be his own light not a reflection of parent.
A candle flame is self illuminating. It is light and lights the area around it. In a room of mirrors it reflects infinitely but the reflection is dependent on the original illumination.
Dr Manfred Clynes found through his Sentic Cycles research that emotional intensity and sensitivity was systemically DECREASED by consistency of periodic exposure to any emotional pulse, say of LOVE, ANGER, JOY etc. He also found that anyone could up-cycle any emotion's intensity and sensitivity by experiencing or expressing random pulses of that individual emotion.
So if you want to deaden your ability to experience any individual emotion's range of intensity and sensitivity then consistently repeat an experience of that emotion over and over again. If you want to increase your range of intensity and sensitivity to an individual emotion's experience then randomly trigger that emotion within a period of time...like a training workout.
And that's exactly what Clynes did with his Sentic Cycles research. He has since designed an entire curriculum anyone can experiment with in 28 minutes that covers our main emotions...works like a charm at lubricating and normalizing emotional balance and health.
Google him and find his stuff online if you're interested...it's worth it and it works. Amazing.