U.S. News & World Report:
We are all familiar with the phrase “monkey see, monkey do”—but have we actually thought about what it means? Over the last two decades, neuroscience research has been investigating whether this popular saying has a real basis in human behavior.
Over twenty years ago, a team of scientists, led by Giacomo Rizzolatti at the University of Parma, discovered special brain cells, called mirror neurons, in monkeys. These cells appeared to be activated both when the monkey did something itself and when the monkey simply watched another monkey do the same thing.
The function of such mirror neurons in humans has since become a hot topic. In the latest issue of Perspectives on Psychological Science, a team of distinguished researchers debate whether the mirror neuron system is involved in such diverse processes as understanding speech, understanding the meaning of other people’s actions, and understanding other people’s minds.
Read the whole story: U.S. News & World Report