Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Mirror neurons cause brainwashing susceptibility

According to this research, there are two kinds of people -- empathisers and non-empathisers. The empathisers have a "mirror neuron" in their brain that causes them to have Pavlovian responses. Those people are particularly susceptible to Madison Avenue brainwashing.
Mirror neurons, known to exist in humans and in macaque monkeys, activate when an action is observed, and also when it is performed. Now new research reveals that there are mirror neurons in humans that fire when sounds are heard. In other words, if you hear the noise of someone eating an apple, some of the same neurons fire as when you eat the apple yourself.

So-called auditory mirror neurons were known only in macaques. To determine if they exist in humans Valeria Gazzola, at the school of behavioural and cognitive neurosciences neuroimaging centre at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands, and colleagues, put 16 volunteers into functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanners and observed their brains as they were played different noises. ...

Journal reference: Current Biology (vol 16, p 1824)
This could help why some people are so easily brainwashed, and others are not.

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