Most of us can detect subtle non-verbal cues that surround human and animal interactions, but are some of us more empathetic than others?
Neuroscience research, in 1996, discovered the synergistic tendencies of neurons in the pre-motor cortex of macaque monkey brains (Marco Lacoboni, LA School of Medicine, University of California). By studying the active regions of the pre-motor cortex, Lacoboni found that neurons fired in the exact same way, whether the monkey was picking up a nut, or when it observed another monkey or human grabbing a nut. Later studies seemed to imply that the same thing occurred when emotional response was the testing focus. Lacoboni said of this; “Mirror neurons suggest that we pretend we are in another person’s mental shoes. In fact, we practically are in another person’s mind.”
Another neuroscientist, Gallese, believes that we are all natural mind readers, utilising this mirrored neuronal response to do more than just observe behaviour. He thinks that when we interact with another person, mirrored responses allow us to use our minds to model theirs. So, in effect, we are creating the internal responses of their actions, senses and emotions within ourselves, as if we are the ones moving, sensing and feeling.
Surely this is simple common sense? Empathy has driven societal dynamics since the dark ages. Media outlets have based their economy on our empathetic abilities. Television and film producers positively endorse our mirrored responses, even though our rational minds are aware when tragedy or calamity is fictional.
Older studies into brain synchronisation, which are open to criticism in the light of changing sensing equipment, studied active regions of the brain during periods of intentional mind reading, or ‘remote viewing’. During research with three famous ‘psychics’, scientists recorded a particularly interesting correlation. Using standard low resolution electromagnetic encephalography, they detected a pattern of activity in the right hippocampal region within the upper beta range of brainwaves (20-30Hz).
Now whether you believe that these psychics can tap into the visual cortex of another person’s brain at some distance is another issue, but one of them, Sean Harribance, was a repeatedly used asset by the CIA to locate known terror suspects. Scientists even named the distinctive brain EEG, during remote viewing events, after him (The Harribance Pattern). When Sean was instructed to read the mind of another person in a nearby laboratory, they discovered that the active brain patterns of subjects, began to synchronise.
Gallese is so convinced of the mirroring capability of our brains, that further studies are ongoing, at the University of Montreal, to confirm or deny the theory that a damaged or dysfunctional mirror neuron system could be responsible for mental conditions such as Autism. This being a condition where the ability to empathise is lost, leaving the individual with the limitations of observe and guess.
If we can synchronise with our fellow man, on an individual basis or beyond, does it lend support to the theory of global consciousness? The theory that if we all focus our minds on a collective result, it can manifest? I, for one, think that accepting this possibility could lead to a tidal change in our behaviour towards each other. There is no harm in spreading as much love and cheer into the world, without waiting for the scientists to prove it possible.
Sam Nash is the author of the sci-fi conspiracy thriller, The Aurora Mandate. Release date TBA. You can find her at https://www.samnash.org or on Twitter @samnashauthor or Facebook.com/samnash.author.