Implicit empathy by evolution or “why you tap your feet.”

Christian Keysers from “What’s next? Dispatches on the future of science” 2009

Recently I began reading this book of science essays that were meant to assess the future. Seeming it is 10 years since the book was published, I thought it may be interesting to revisit these. Here the focus was on neurons and empathy.

When we move, our premotor cortex fires.

This is seen in monkeys and in humans, as well as many other animals. It is tightly linked to making our muscles contract and hence our body move. But here is the weird thing…

When we see others move, our premotor cortex fires.

It isn’t just seeing either, hearing has been shown to trigger it too. The neurons that fire in the premotor cortex are known as Mirror Neurons.

Since 2009…

  • Mirror neurons have been found in rats
  • Have been linked to a variety of psychological disorders
  • and have been cited by Forbes as a way to improve your career by being more conscious of them

Founder of and Product Owner @ dunnhumby; just genuinely interested in a lot of things. Built racecars, built electronics, now building software

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store