TEDcember Day 05 – The neurons that shaped civilization

I’ll admit I am doing a bit of catching up here, having missed a day or two, but I’ll be back on track soon.

For day five I chose VS Ramachandran: The neurons that shaped civilization. This talk introduces the idea of “mirror neurons”, elements of the brain which trigger when observing other people’s behaviour, and goes on to imply that the existence and sophistication of this brain biology is what enabled the spread of human learning and the development of culture. As far as that goes I generally agree. Later in the talk he gets a bit metaphysical, deducing from some mirror neuron behaviour in cases of amputated or anaesthetised limbs that all people are linked.