Wikipedia: Mirror neurons
"Ramachandran is known for advocating the importance of mirror neurons.
Ramachandran has stated that the discovery of mirror neurons is the most
important unreported story of the last decade. (Mirror neurons were
first reported in a paper published in 1992 by a team of researchers led
by Giacomo Rizzolatti at the University of Parma.) Ramachandran has
speculated that research into the role of mirror neurons will help
explain a variety of human mental capacities ranging from empathy,
imitation learning, and the evolution of language. Ramachandran has also
theorized that mirror neurons may be the key to understanding the
neurological basis of human self awareness.
Ramchandran has theorized that in addition to motor command mirror
neurons there are mirror neurons that are activated when a person
observes someone else being touched. In 2008 Ramachandran conducted an
experiment in which several phantom arm patients reported feeling touch
signals on their phantom arms when they observed the arm of a student
being touched. In a 2009 discussion of this theory Ramachandran and
Althschuler called these mirror neurons "touch mirror neurons.""
MIRROR NEURONS and imitation learning as the driving force behind "the
great leap forward" in human evolution
The discovery of mirror neurons in the frontal lobes of monkeys, and
their potential relevance to human brain evolution — which I speculate
on in this essay — is the single most important "unreported" (or at
least, unpublicized) story of the decade. I predict that mirror neurons
will do for psychology what DNA did for biology: they will provide a
unifying framework and help explain a host of mental abilities that have
hitherto remained mysterious and inaccessible to experiments.
"The only barrier between your consciousness and my consciousness is my
bloody skin." World expert on the neuroscience of mirror neurons, Prof.
V.S. Ramachandran of UC San Diego shares recent scientific findings on
the neuroscience of empathy and compassion with the Dalai Lama."
VS Ramachandran: The neurons that shaped civilization
Neuroscientist Vilayanur Ramachandran outlines the fascinating functions
of mirror neurons. Only recently discovered, these neurons allow us to
learn complex social behaviors, some of which formed the foundations of
human civilization as we know it.