Compenetration Weblog

fusion of inner and outher space

“How the brain detects the emotions of others ” (N. Scientist)

Was another one…great sailing weekend. 10 instead of 25 knots as last time…but still great experience…(less adrenalin,…gonna talk about it next time). So effortless pleasure. We won a medal…but really not important…Its not a medal you get, its a team spirit you had, have, will have… Kind of joint effort and joint pleasure…hard to explain… IT IS A FEELING U CAN NOT GAIN ALONE. Although i like solitude, i like team work equally…it gives me pleasure…different one..but important one.

Caught an article today from New Scientist about Mirror Neurons (and i was talking about last time, just came back from sailing… Maybe there is some synchronicity but i don’t know…”who knows”…, my favorite friend’s saying). Just another prove how mirror neurons play important role in our life. I am waiting further proves cos i am believer that they are one of basic ingredients of our socialising and interdependence among all human beings. Even if  you see other people’ straggle only on TV…it moves something within you…

How the brain detects the emotions of others

People who are good at interpreting facial expressions have “mirror neuron” systems that are more active, say researchers. The finding adds weight to the idea that these cells are crucial to helping us figure out how others are feeling.

Mirror neurons are brain cells that fire both when you do something and when you watch someone else do the same thing.

Because they allow us to mimic what others are doing, it is thought that these neurons may be responsible for why we can feel empathy, or understand others’ intentions and states of mind. People with autism, for instance, show reduced mirror neuron activity during social cognition tasks.

Now Peter Enticott at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, and his colleagues have found evidence supporting this theory. They asked 20 healthy adults to look at pairs of images. In one task, they had to decide if paired images of faces were the same person. In another, they had to decide if both faces were showing the same emotion.

In a separate task, volunteers watched video clips of thumb movement, a hand grasping a pen and a hand while writing, while the activity in the primary motor cortex of the brain, which contains mirror neurons, was recorded.

Emotional link

Now the team had a measure of the “motor potential” in the thumb muscles – for example, how much the thumb was primed to move just by watching another thumb moving. This measure is a proxy for mirror neuron activity, say the researchers.

Enticott’s team found that the volunteers who were better at judging people’s emotions had higher mirror neuron activity in the thumb task. There was no correlation, however, between the ability to recognise faces and mirror neuron activity. This suggests that mirror neurons are involved in understanding emotions as well as in the mimicry of actions.

“[The study] connects the two different functions – the motor aspect with the emotional processing aspect,” says Lindsay Oberman, at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, US. “They show that mirror neurons for motor activity are related to mirror neurons for emotions,” she adds.

Journal reference: Neuropsychologia(DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2008.04.022)

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And fresh from great sailing weekend, i just can not avoid nice comparison of sailing and yoga (i’ve been practicing it for some while). In both you need a time to realise that  you gain the most when you align with the breath, the wind, flow of life…big effort,  but suddenly you realise that you gain the most effortless.

Like sailing, moving through life demands a synchronization with natural forces that requires skill and intuition, the ability to set a course yet change with the wind and currents. If you want to sail, you have to know how to assess the conditions of the weather—blustery, calm, choppy—which constantly fluctuate, as do our physical, emotional, and spiritual states.
This intuitive feeling of being “off” is an inborn signal that helps us learn how to sustain an action by harmonizing with the flow of nature. Just as a sagging sail tells a sailor to tack and realign with the energy of the wind, a drop in our mental or physical energy within an action is a sign we need to realign our course. In an asana, when the muscular effort of a pose is creating tension, it’s often a signal that we are not relying on the support of our breath. When we learn how to sustain the power and momentum of the breath, the result is like the feeling of sailing in the wind—effortless effort.

And what can i say more than: Push the limits (Enigma)

Basic instincts, social life
Paradoxes side by side
Don’t submit to stupid rules
Be yourself and not a fool
Don’t accept average habits
Open your heart and push the limits
Open your heart
And push the limits

 

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May 13, 2008 - Posted by | Daily bites, Music, neuroscience, Science | , , , , , , , ,

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