Study Shows How the Brain Understands Social Settings
(Ivanhoe Newswire) – In a new study, researchers from Aarhus University and the University of Copenhagen demonstrate that brain cells in what is called the mirror system help people make sense of actions they see other people do.
By using magnetic stimulation to briefly disrupt normal processing of the areas of the brain involved in production of action, the researchers showed these areas are also involved in understanding actions. The study is the first to demonstrate a clear causal effect. Earlier studies mainly looked at correlations, which are difficult to interpret.
“There has been a great deal of hype about the mirror system, and now we have performed an experiment that finally provides clear and straightforward evidence that the mirror system serves to help people make sense of others’ actions,” researcher John Michael was quoted as saying. “The findings may be interesting to therapists and psychiatrists who work with patients with schizophrenia or autism, or even to educational researchers.”
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SOURCE: Psychological Science, February 2014
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