Mirror neurons and empathy

It happens that I miss a bit science conversation at university with my friends. So I´ve decided to write this article today about science and voluntary service. How is it? Ok, I´m going to write about the Mirror neurons, probably the most important discovery of the XX Century in the Neurology area.

Everything happened in 1996 (as you can see it happened 16 years ago, not too much time ago), when Giacomo Rizzolatti team where in the eating time. One of them started eating a banana in the laboratory and happened that the ligths in the computer which shew the monkey´s brain started shining. A monkey was connected to electrodes in order to study the electrical activity of the different areas, and the computer shew which areas started shining.

Firstly, the team thought it was an error, but they repeated the experiment and could see that the area which is related with the food neccesity and pleasure started shinning. The meaning of this is: the monkey was looking to the human eating a banana and having “pleasure” at the same time. It was able to be in the place of the person, understand he was eating the banana and FEEL the pleasure he was having. It´s the same if the monkey eats the banana itself or look other monkey, person or animal eating banana, the same brain area is gonna shine, because it´s able to be in your place. This is the basic explanation of the empathy, a very recient discovery.









Nowadays we know that the Mirror Neurons (they were called like this because they make you able to understand the feeling of other people, like when you look at yourself in a mirror), are in every person, and when they miss some big problems happen – think about psichopathy-. We also know that the learning process consists in making bigger number of neurotransmisor receptors in the neurons. It means that it generally depends of your own work. Yes, generally (always there are exceptions) the capacity of learning is related with the work you usually spend trying to learn. Of course, if you give up easily, you´ll never learn anything. The same happens about the empathy. Of course in this case you find exceptions, but in normal cases you´re responsible of your empathy level. If you usually don´t understand how people around you are feeling, it´s because you didn´t work too much in this aspect. Bu you can change it!!!


But this blog is about voluntary service, not science. So, in my opinion, if you are volunteer it means that you wanna help someone and you don´t want receive anything for it.

It means that not everybody noticed how important is trying to understand.  What I mean is that it´s time to change. I want to say the people: be volunteer!! Give more and receive less. In this way you´ll see that people are thakful to you and maybe their Mirror Neurons will start to generate more receptors!!








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