Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Mirror Neurons

I decided to write a post on something that I actually learned in school for a change.

A mirror neuron is a neuron that fires both when a human acts and when a human observes an action performed by another person. I learned this in a neuroscience 101 class last year and the second that I learned about it I wanted to study it in conjunction with sports and training.

When it comes to sports or simply movement in general we as humans learn from what we see done by others. When we see someone else perform an action (dunking would be a good example) in essence we neurologically perform the action. What this means is that we can learn a great deal about progressive techniques, new skills, and entirely new modalities of training simply by watching someone else do it. Yes...you can still be an athlete when sedentary.

As Week 12 of my program becomes more and more imminent I am starting to think that I need to watch more videos of people dunking. What are you trying to get better at? Maybe you just need to see it done perfectly a couple more times.


  1. I think there is a lot to be said for learning by transfering what we see into what we do. I personally think I learn a lot about how to do something by hearing about it. Ie. someone talking through how I need to move or feel in my body in an effort to try a new atheletic technique.
    Have you had successful dunkers watch your efforts and talk to you about how you are moving in your quest?

  2. No... I haven't, but thats a great idea Debbie.

  3. Hmmm... screw dunking. I think I need more friends that are really good at picking up beautiful girls so I can watch them closely and put those mirror neurons to work!