Mirror Neurons

My Scientific American Mind article on mirror neurons is out, and includes some amusing and apt photographs and art. Mirror neurons, as the story explains, are motor neurons that fire not only when we perform an action (like reaching for an apple) but when we see someone else perform an action — or even, as it turns out, when we read, think, or hear about someone performing that action. This mechanism, discovered about a decade ago, seems to underlie much motor, social, and even cultural learning.

You can read the story here or buy the digital version online via Scientific American Mind.


Wow Factor: We Perceive More Than We Think We Do

'Wow Factor': Humans Perceive More Than They Think They Do:

From the "Interesting If True" Department:

Faces tell the stories in UC Riverside Professor Larry Rosenblum's ecological listening lab, as volunteer test subjects show that they can 'read' unheard speech — not just from lips, but from the simple movements of dots placed on lips, teeth and tongue.

They can also recognize people's voices just from seeing their faces, and vice versa, and seem to be able to distinguish among a variety of rooms on campus just from their echoes.

from ScienceDaily Headlines: Mind & Brain.