Mirror Neurons


TED Talk by V.S. Ramachandran


'The Magic Within'

A human brain weighs less than 2kg,

but it can contemplate the meaning of its own existence.

There are around 100 billion neurons in a human brain

and each neuron makes 1,000 to 10,000 contacts with other neurons.

That means the number of combinations in our brain


exceed the number of elementary particles in the visible universe.

Our ordinary Command Neurons will fire in our

brain when we perform an action.

For example, when you pick an apple.

Surprisingly, about 20 percent of our neurons, will also fire when we simply look at somebody else performing an action.



These Mirror Neurons are essentially

adopting the other person's point of view and experience.


For example, when you watch someone else picking an apple.

Our Mirror Neurons had a significant impact on

the development of human civilization.  

They allowed us to learn essential human skills

like the handling of tools or the use of language.

Mirror Neurons put humans at an incredible advantage.

For example: While a polar bear

would take thousands of generations to evolve a coat.

A human child can simply watch its parent how to make a coat.

What the polar bear took around 100,000 years to evolve,

the human child can learn within a day.

Mirror neurons enable us to imitate complex skills,


Mirror neurons make us capable to practice empathy,


which is our basis to evolve.

which is our basis to coexist.


Behaviour that is destructive

Mirror Neurons can prime us to imitate and develop both:


Behaviour that is constructive


We can know that people who witness us


We can consciously choose to focus on constructive behaviour.

are triggered by neurons in their brains to mirror our actions.

"Empathy is the starting point for creating community.

It's the impetus for creating change."

Max Carver