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NOVA scienceNOW: Mirror Neurons

Program Overview


Explores the role that mirror neurons may play in human actions and interactions and explains how scientists think mirror neurons work.

This NOVA scienceNOW segment:

  • explains the role that mirror neurons may play in how we understand and connect with each other.

  • reports on experiments indicating that the neurons that "fire" when a monkey does an activity also "fire" when the monkey observes the activity, suggesting that neurologically doing and watching are the same.

  • suggests that humans use a similar "mirroring" response to translate what we see, so that we can relate to each other and the world.

  • demonstrates an experiment involving pictures of different facial expressions that may show how mirror neurons tie us to each other's feelings as well as actions.

  • suggests that mirror neurons may have enhanced humans' evolutionary process and survival success.

Taping Rights: Can be used up to one year after the program is taped off the air.

Teacher's Guide
NOVA scienceNOW: Mirror Neurons
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