I first heard about mirror neurons many years ago when flipping through a science magazine in a store. I was intrigued and read the article standing there. Now I’m regularly running into references to mirror neurons and I bet you have too.
Mirror neurons are a cluster of cells in the premotor cortex, an area of the brain responsible for planning movements. Well not only do these neurons fire when we plan an action but also when we see someone else perform an action and even when we observe emotion in another. It appears that they play a large role in kinesthetic empathy as well as learning.
My first thoughts jumped to recognizing that dance therapists use mirroring as a standard technique in their work. It is so hard it is at times to get a perspective on ourselves and the mirroring of our movement back to us can give a profound reflection of where we are. When I see you/feel you and I mirror back to you, you then see/feel yourself through seeing/feeling me.
Mirror neurons play a large role in Authentic Movement practice, a form that many dance/movement therapists teach and practice. In Authentic Movement, as we witness, (our mirror neurons) take in the mover. When we verbally reflect back to the mover we are speaking from the sensation/feeling/seeing of our body experience. We speak from the experience of our mirror neurons. And bask in the sensation of being seen, of seeing another and feeling the interconnectivity of wordless communication. To learn more about Authentic Movement check this page.