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1-min read

Mirror neurons in human brain 'recorded'

Mirror neurons, many say, are what make us human.

News18 |

Updated:April 13, 2010, 8:15 PM IST
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Mirror neurons in human brain 'recorded'
Mirror neurons, many say, are what make us human.

Washington: In what's being claimed as a a major breakthrough, scientists have made a direct recording of mirror neurons in the human brain.

Mirror neurons, many say, are what make us human. They are the cells in the brain that fire not only when we perform an action but when we watch someone else perform it. However, there was there was no proof that mirror neurons existed.

Now, a team at California University has recorded both single cells and multiple cell activity, not only in the motor regions of the brain where mirror neurons were thought to exist but also in regions involved in vision and in memory.

Further, they showed that specific subsets of mirror cells increased their activity during the execution of an action but decreased their activity when an action was only being observed, the 'Current Biology' journal reported.

"We hypothesised that the decreased activity from the cells when observing an action may be to inhibit the observer from automatically performing that same action. Furthermore, this subset of mirror neurons may help us distinguish actions of other people from our own actions," team leader Roy Mukamel said.

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