Einstein Can You Read Minds?
YES, you can — and DO read minds. You already realize you can feel the emotions of others, and also understand their feelings and motives.
In effect, you can actually see things from their unique perspective. But how we do this has long been a subject of intense debate among psychologists and neurologists.
But some scientists now believe we are all read minds, and the evidence is mounting. It all has to do with what scientisit call “mirror neurons.” And yes – you DO have them in YOUR brain!
How You Read Minds
Back in 1996, three neuroscientists were probing the brain of a macaque monkey when they stumbled across a curious cluster of cells in an area of the brain that helps us plan movements.
They found that the cluster of cells fired not only when the monkey performed an action – but also when the monkey saw the same action performed by someone else. The cells responded the same way whether the monkey reached out to grasp a peanut, or merely watched as another monkey or a human grab a peanut. Because the cells reflected what the monkey observed in others, the neuroscientists named them “mirror neurons.”
Later experiments confirmed the existence of mirror neurons in humans … and revealed yet another surprise: In addition to mirroring actions, the cells ALSO mirror sensations and emotions. In effect — they discovered how we read minds.
“With mirror neurons we are practically in another person’s mind,” says Marco Iacoboni, a neuroscientist that works at the School of Medicine of the University of California, Los Angeles.
Vittorio Gallese, a neuroscientist at the University of Parma in Italy and one of original discovers of mirror neurons, has another name for this theory. Gallese calls it the “Vulcan Approach,” in honor of the Star Trek protagonist Spock, who belonged to an alien race called the Vulcans who suppressed their emotions in favor of logic. Spock was often unable to understand the emotions underlying human behavior.
You Are a Natural Mind Reader
All this indicates that we are all natural mind readers. We place ourselves in another person’s “mental shoes,” and use our own mind as a model for theirs.
Gallese contends that when we interact with someone, we do more than just observe the other person’s behavior. He believes we create internal representations of their actions, sensations and emotions within ourselves, as if we are the ones that are moving, sensing and feeling.
“We share with others not only the way they normally act or subjectively experience emotions and sensations, but also the neural circuits enabling those same actions, emotions and sensations: the mirror neuron systems,” Gallese said.