Mirror neurons-Mirror neurons discovered

A team of Chinese neuroscientists have discovered a small cluster of so-called ‘mirror neuron-mirror neurons’. According to group leader Liu Chuang, the group of neurons in the occipital cortex fire only “when a person sees someone else’s mirror neurons activate”.

The MNMN-cells were discovered when the team was scanning the brain of a patient suffering from epilepsy. “It was a stroke of luck. One of the experimental stimuli happened to be a picture of mirror neurons firing in a monkey. Almost immediately our intracranial electrodes picked up rapid firing from deep within the occipital cortex. We realized immediately this was something big”. Chuang and her collaborators quickly developed a unique novel experimental protocol. Her team had participants viewing single cell recordings of a monkey watching another monkey use a tool. The findings showed that MNMN’s fired only when participants saw firing mirror neurons in the intermediate monkey, but not the tool-using monkey, according to the press-release.

Chuang is currently applying for funding to find out whether there might be a neuron in the brain that only fires when people watch the firing mirror neuron-mirror neurons  of people who watch firing mirror neurons of monkeys looking at other monkeys using tools. “Finding this neuron, if it exists, might have implications for empathy, life the universe and everything” says an excited Chuang.

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13 comments

  1. Petrossa

    Great news, so together with the miracle molecule oxytocin science now have the tools give maternal feelings to men by forcing them to watch a group of women watching chick-flicks with lot’s of crying babies in them.
    Amazing what science can do.

  2. klaus

    I wonder whether there are any breaking news on resting state connectivity? Or other sorts of connectivity like dynamic causal modelling?

  3. meep

    On unrelated events, scientists have discovered event-related-potential-related potential, which appears after subjects view stimuli showing event-related potentials.

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