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ATS: Mind Reading Brain Cells

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posted on Jan, 13 2006 @ 09:50 AM
Scientists in Parma Italy observed "mind reading" brain cells called "mirror neurons" 15 years ago, and first published their findings in 1996. Research on mirror neurons has continued, and multiple mirror neuron systems now are understood as responsible for learning, empathy, and the ability to understand other peoples intentions. The latest study shows that mirror neurons and aggression-related brain functions are activated in children watching violent TV, increasing the probability that they will behave violently. Behind the scenes, the discovery is shaking up scientific disciplines from psychotherapy to biology.
The human brain has multiple mirror neuron systems that specialize in carrying out and understanding not just the actions of others but their intentions, the social meaning of their behavior and their emotions. ..."We are exquisitely social creatures," Dr. Rizzolatti said. "Our survival depends on understanding the actions, intentions and emotions of others." ...Mirror neurons reveal how children learn, why people respond to certain types of sports, dance, music and art, why watching media violence may be harmful and why many men like pornography.

..."Mirror neurons allow us to grasp the minds of others not through conceptual reasoning but through direct simulation. By feeling, not by thinking." ...The discovery is shaking up numerous scientific disciplines, shifting the understanding of culture, empathy, philosophy, language, imitation, autism and psychotherapy. ...Until now, scholars have treated culture as fundamentally separate from biology, she said. "But now we see that mirror neurons absorb culture directly, with each generation teaching the next by social sharing, imitation and observation."

...a study in the January 2006 issue of Media Psychology found that when children watched violent television programs, mirror neurons, as well as several brain regions involved in aggression were activated, increasing the probability that the children would behave violently. ...People who rank high on a scale measuring empathy have particularly active mirror neurons systems, Dr. Keysers said. ...Social emotions like guilt, shame, pride, embarrassment, disgust and lust are based on a uniquely human mirror neuron system found in a part of the brain called the insula, Dr. Keysers said. ...Therapists can use their own mirror system to understand a client's problems and to generate empathy, he said. ...Art exploits mirror neurons, said Dr. Vittorio Gallese, a neuroscientist at Parma University. ...Similarly, millions of fans who watch their favorite sports on television are hooked by mirror neuron activation. ...In yet another realm, mirror neurons are powerfully activated by pornography, several scientists said. ...The vicarious thrill of watching sex, it turns out, is not so vicarious after all.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Ever wonder how you know what you know? Or why you don't get what others take for granted? It seems our psychic powers and our ability to "fit in" both depend on multiple mirror neuron systems - and the breadth of our social exposures and experience. Makes sense to me.

Everyone has innate psychic ability, according to the advertising copy for psychic training programs and writers like Sufi Idries Shah. Training involves activating the part of the brain that perceives, and making the process conscious. Different schools use various ways to open these very real pathways in the brain and help people develop their "psychic" abilities. And it sounds like these guys are talking about developing multiple mirror neuron systems.

Too often, our society shuts down and suppresses our innate abilities, leaving us with only a primitive shadow of what is possible. And the mainstream media tends to suppress psychic development. Multiple mirror neuron systems are not developed, only a few. The number of mirror neuron systems are limited, and kept primitive: individuals' empathetic powers are twisted to become a basic "I like, I buy" imperative; and violence simply begets violence, not psychic awareness or understanding.

Military applications of this kind of knowledge are another story, addressed elsewhere on this site.

My questions:

What do you think our world would be like if the scientific knowledge about mirror neurons was used to help individuals learn and grow, instead of using it to develop psycho-weapons and manipulate people?

How might we apply this knowledge responsibly, to benefit individuals and the whole of humankind?

Related News:

Mirror neurons: Cells that can read minds

Autism linked to mirror neuron dysfunction

Primates, Neurons and Philosophical Ethics

posted on Jan, 13 2006 @ 02:36 PM
Wow this is in my opinion back up the life imitating art saying with factual science. Good post

posted on Jan, 13 2006 @ 03:55 PM
I don't know about that I still believe that we have free will that article make humans look like clones or drones, like a machine that is just there to take without logic in the learning process.

I always thought to be a logical person myself with lots of free will to make my one conclusions.

[edit on 13-1-2006 by marg6043]

posted on Jan, 13 2006 @ 05:00 PM
I dunno marg - I don't see it that way. IMO - eventually we will be able to explain everything in terms of proteins, molecules, bio-electromagnetic interractions and other scientific terms. ...Doesn't mean it's a clone or drone thing, just that we're beginning to see some of the complexity of it all.

And of course there is that old line, knowledge is power.

Sorry, but I have to post this link yet again:

Neuro-Marketing: Straight to the Brain

posted on Jan, 13 2006 @ 06:21 PM
This is a fascinating subject, sofi. It brings to mind all kinds of answers to the questions which have dogged the human race for centuries. Empaths should be taking careful note of this study as it promises validation for their much maligned craft.

I know what you're thinking...

I see your intentions...

If everyone suddenly became aware of this ability within themselves, the world would change!

posted on Jan, 13 2006 @ 07:51 PM
This is an interesting article (I voted yes on it) but I don't really see how this qualifies as 'mind reading'. I think that the name 'mirror neurons' seems to be quite appropriate. The subject sees, hears, or otherwise observes some action, and reacts accordingly; drooling when someone eats a tasty food, feeling sad when you observe a sad person, being aroused by pornography, or any other similar examples (those ones came from the article).

There does seem to be potential in this research, but more along the ways that brains process stimuli, and perhaps how brains learn, rather than actually mind-reading. Not sure if it's too late, but it might be best to change the title of this thread to something like 'Mirror Neurons research' or something that more accurately describes it.

posted on Jan, 13 2006 @ 07:55 PM
I think, IF I understand correctly, they are conectiong viewed Agression with Agressive Behaviour through these cells because they are what allow the brain to recognize agression in 'people' before them, in this case the 'people' are the games. This recognition of agressive people around you then, understandably, sets your own brain up for agressive behaviour.

posted on Jan, 13 2006 @ 08:56 PM

Originally posted by DragonsDemesne
I don't really see how this qualifies as 'mind reading'.

Here's one article on the ability to mindread and here's another on new findings on mirror neuron fuctions.

Both are very interesting along with what soficrow posted.

BTW, good find soficrow!

[edit on 13/1/06 by Intelearthling]

posted on Jan, 13 2006 @ 09:41 PM
I remember that when I took psychology in college we learned about how the brain can be different from one person to another person in how absolve information.

This is a long time ago, now a days technology is more advances.

The main threes were visual, audio and sensory I believe.

Also some people's brain may have a combination of any of them.

At the time this was very important into finding why some people will benefit with one type input while others would not work.

Its fascinating how now we can actually go into the brain and find out exactly how it really works or at least understand how it does.

posted on Jan, 13 2006 @ 11:50 PM
What are these "Mirror Neurons" made out of I wonder... Can't be mirror matter can it? I hate it when they mix up terms and don't really explain it. Tired right now so can't think of anything else to say

posted on Jan, 14 2006 @ 12:00 AM

Excellent thread!

It furthers my conviction that much "psychic ability" is biological in nature.

What a fascinating subject.

posted on Jan, 14 2006 @ 04:33 AM
I wonder if the firing of mirror neurons might be in some way related to the experience of Deja Vu? I don't know why, but it was the 1st thing that came to mind when I read this thread. Hmmm ... Who knows?

Anyway, back in school I once had a physiological psychology professor who made a comment that I've never forgotten. He said that human beings are nothing more than ambulating bags of ions. I thought, "What an interesting take on things".

Nice thread.
Not that I really understand it, but it's still quite interesting ...

posted on Jan, 14 2006 @ 08:47 AM
Idries Shah and others always have insisted that what we think is mind reading or other forms of ESP actually are undeveloped senses.

Mirror neuron systems partly explain how these senses might work. Another partial explanation involves the earth's electromagnetic field - most animals, including humans, have a gland that "translates" EM waves and pulses - plus, even our DNA and cells are tuned to EM pulses. Many researchers have speculated that the idea of a 'universal conscious mind' involves the EM field, which functions like a computer network to connect everything and everyone.

Seems to me that mirror neuron systems and EM fields are two factors or mechanisms that we now can identify as linking us all together. Who knows what else we might learn? If we don't blow ourselves up first.

posted on Jan, 14 2006 @ 12:12 PM
I'm amazed this made it onto ATSNN. No where in any of the source's does it state anything about mirror neuron's being tied into psychic abilities. That's a bold assumption and in my opinion, not new's worthy when none of the article's discuss the assumption concluded by this post.

However, as a commentor earlier pointed out, it does conclude that humans are clones/drones in a way. I'd like to argue against that as there are plenty of people who play violent videogame's and watch violent movies and turn out to be very docile. Like me for example. I've played plenty of violent game's and the more violent a movie, the more exciting it is for me. I wouldn't hurt anyone though.

I think more research need's to be put into this before people start assuming thing's, such as tying it into psychic abilities which as never discussed in any of the cited source's.

posted on Jan, 14 2006 @ 12:21 PM

Originally posted by Produkt
No where in any of the source's does it state anything about mirror neuron's being tied into psychic abilities. That's a bold assumption and in my opinion, not new's worthy when none of the article's discuss the assumption concluded by this post.


Cells That Read Minds

Mirror neurons: Cells that can read minds

Two references that refer directly to mind reading cells - or as they say, "cells that read minds." In general terms, mind reading is considered a "psychic" phenomenon.

Are you objecting to the paraphrase, necessitated by ATS rules? Or just trying to derail discussion?

I don't get your problem.

FYI - a quick Google search for +"mirror neurons" +psychic pulls up nearly 400 links. It's obviously a legitimate connection.

[edit on 14-1-2006 by soficrow]

posted on Jan, 14 2006 @ 12:42 PM
So far, the closet link to psychic power's is the use of "mind reading" in the article's title. Empathy however is not a psychic ability. A five week old can sense when it's mother is upset. Has nothing to do with psychic abilities.

Could you please quote the most relevent section you felt waranted the conclusion that this tie's into psychic power's and mind reading?

I have done a google search, and most I could find were other article's written in the same manner as the one's you posted. The usage of "mind reading" in the title of the article, then the discussion of empathy.

posted on Jan, 14 2006 @ 12:59 PM
Excellent find, Sofi, as usual.

Its a fascinating concept and i havent been able to properly digest it yet, but cant wait to read it in its entirety. Yes, this may explain Deja vu and 11:11 and many other things.

posted on Jan, 14 2006 @ 01:04 PM

Originally posted by Produkt
I have done a google search, and most I could find were other article's written in the same manner as the one's you posted. The usage of "mind reading" in the title of the article, then the discussion of empathy.

You need to search scholar or pubmed.

FYI - psycho-disciplines term psycho- functions as "psychic" - it's the base of the discipline and has to do with the word's root.

You are nitpicking on definition, and question the credibility of my extending discussion into an expanded definition. FYI - the format is well within ATS parameters - and moreover, opens legitimate areas for discussion.

Ie., the questions I asked at the end of the article:

What do you think our world would be like if the scientific knowledge about mirror neurons was used to help individuals learn and grow, instead of using it to develop psycho-weapons and manipulate people?

How might we apply this knowledge responsibly, to benefit individuals and the whole of humankind?

....You seem to be quite intent on preventing that discussion from occurring. Why, I wonder...


posted on Jan, 14 2006 @ 01:12 PM
I remember that the mind reading cells back were know as learning and copying social behavior.

The best subjects for studies were children because they were refer to a sponges and readily suggestible to learning behavioral patterns from their enviroment.

We have to understand that not everybody that look at bloody movies or play violent games will turn into criminals.

But that is actually cells that their job is reading others people minds is perhaps interesting but also troublesome because of the repercussions of such a theory to be true.

It kind of make me wonder if the government has done experiments on mind manipulation and mind reading on unsuspected subjects.

I have read that the US government has been accused of that before.

posted on Jan, 14 2006 @ 01:12 PM
For the more scholarly among us:

Psychoanalysis has always identified the body as the source of the energies alimenting psychic representations. Interestingly, some recent developments in cognitive neuroscience have emphasized the role of the acting body and of sensory-motor systems in constituting the way our mind represent reality, by shaping our cognitive schemas (see Gallese and Umiltà 2002; Gallese et al 2004; Gallese 2005a, b).

Mirror neurons and Intentional Attunement


...everything that constitutes us on the level that we call psychic...

Source: Imitation, Mirror Neurons, & Mimetic Desire: Convergent Support for the Work of Rene Girard Fuller Theological Seminary


The Roots of Empathy: The Shared Manifold Hypothesis and the Neural Basis of Intersubjectivity

Full Text


The author postulates that the dialogue between psychoanalysis and neuroscience is based on the assumption that both deal with virtual structures. They are two facets of the same noumenal reality, but with different phenomenal realities, and it is possible to use metapsychology as a lingua franca to develop communication between the two fields. In the second part of the paper, the author reflects on the results of recent neurophysiological research which seem to offer to psychoanalysis possibilities for finding an anatomical physiological correlate of some well-known psychic phenomena and mechanisms, such as imitation, introjection, identification, empathy, identity, mother child communication, learning, social communication and the analyst patient relationship. Particular neurons, called mirror neurons, have been located in the F5 area of baboons' brains. They are also present in man's brain within Broca's area. These neurons activate our motor system during both the performance of actions and the observation of actions performed by others giving rise to an automatic response, a sort of simulation or, rather, imitation, as the process is not intentional, but automatic and unaware, that is, unconscious.

Notes for a dialogue between psychoanalysis and neuroscience. Int J Psychoanal. 2005 Oct;86(Pt 5):1405-23. Scalzone F. PMID: 16174615

These are new discoveries, and follow up work has barely scratched the surface. Medical disciplines are applying the knowledge to problems of brain development and function, and hoping to find cures.

Theologians, new agers and philosphers view "mirror neuron systems" as part of a growing body evidence proving the existence of greater psychic powers.

Everyone has a different take - but people are talking.

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