Groundbreaking research in the 1990s discovered that “mirror neurons” fire whether monkeys perform an activity themselves or observe others engaging in it (Rizzolatti & Fabbri-destro, 2010).
In the decades since, studies suggest humans also have mirror neurons, and they are fundamental to what it means to be human (Penagos-Corzo et al., 2022).
In fact, neuroscience shows that mirror neurons impact our ability to grasp new skills, acquire knowledge, and form deep emotional connections with those around us—even helping us understand why people do what they do (Cook et al., 2014).
This article explores the nature of mirror neurons and how they affect our learning and cognition and boost our empathy.
Before you continue, we thought you might like to download our three Positive Psychology Exercises for free. These science-based exercises will explore fundamental aspects of positive psychology including strengths, values, and self-compassion, and will give you the tools to enhance the wellbeing of your clients, students, or employees.