Neurons are not associated one-on-one with a specific function. There is no such thing as a mirror neuron or the mirror system, just as there is no Jennifer Aniston neuron or neurons for a particular emotion or a particular movement. Just as a swallow in a flock is not a “flock swallow”, a neuron which is involved in seeing somebody else perform one of our actions is not a mirror neuron.
Seeing with your mind’s eye: not for everyone
I have misplaced my iPhone. I search for it with my mind’s eye. In thoughts I trace my route through the house. Some people, such as Oliver Sacks, lack a mind’s eye. This is called aphantasia. At the other extreme are people with a super mind’s eye.
Science in the time of Corona
The Corona virus spreads via coughing and sneezing. The way it spreads should be easy to investigate. But that does not turn out to be true. Scientists only know a fraction of what they want to know and have to deliver facts to the authorities in order for them to act swiftly. Our Dutch scientists are top of the bill. Therefore, I have confidence in them.
Let the sunshine in
How would we manage, if we could not visualise three-dimensional objects from flat two-dimensional diagrams? An amazing feat our brain performs. What role does pre-determined programming play in this? That is related to how the sun shines on us.
The world within your head
Free runner Philip van Ees intuitively knows exactly how to jump to master all the obstacles in his way. How does he do this?
Where are the limits of the body?
Where does your body end? All fairly clear to you, but not to your brain. A tool you hold in your hand is a part of your body, and sometimes a rubber hand can seem like your real hand. How can this be?
Amazing and paradoxical
What is the relation between what the neurologist calls amazing and the psychiatrist paradoxical? Our impression of the world around us is not formed on the basis of what we actually perceive with our senses. Instead, we carry a preexisting image of our surroundings in our head, and we check if that matches with our perceptions. Sometimes this goes awry.