Mid-1990s these neuroscientists explored which brain cells are activated when a monkey used his hands. To their surprise the neurons in the pre- motor cortex of the macaque not only fired when the animal picked up a peanut, but they also lit up when he saw one of the researchers doing the same!
The investigation into this resonant neurons moved quickly to human brains.
MRI scans and EEG' s showed that our brain reacts when we see other people's actions. Mirror neurons are neurons that are active when you observe what anybody else does.
This is done at the same place in the brain as the person who performs the action. When we see how someone strikes with a hammer on his finger, we react instinctively with our own hands. Seeing images have the same impact as if the same thing happens to you.
Through Imagination you can make your inner images conscious. With guided imagery or imagination exercises you can give your brain an incentive to generate inner images. Mental images provide access to deeper sources within yourself. In this way you get to know yourself better and you develop your brains where mirror neurons are active.
Mirror neurons do more than just mirror. Besides imitating other people's behaviour, they also help to adjust behaviour.
It is precisely this lack of adequate responses to other people's behaviour which is most noticeable in people with autism. Empathy - the ability to move into the world of another person has to do with the action of mirror neurons. This is developed through contact with other human beings.
Autistic's have this feature less developed.Even borderline, narcissism and other personality disorders have already been linked to a dysfunctional mirror system.
When we look at another person, we seldom escape from the tendency to imitate the other person. When we see someone smile, we automatically smile back. By imitation you can better feel what the other feels. Imitation has an effect on your own emotions. If you like eye contact, people noticed that you feel interest in them. The same for you when someone reacts emotionally you can better empathize.
Visual experiences are not necessarily required for the development and functioning of the mirror neurons. In blind subjects were mirror activity in the same areas of the brain as subjects who had both sound and image.
When blind people hear the activities of others, they use the same network and parts of the brain as sighted people use. The use of the visual part of the brain for non- visual recognition for the blind shows that there no visual experience or visual images are needed in order to form an image