& Pattern Recognition
Mirror neurons exist in the physical world. How can their excitation link to an abstract experience like empathy? Such a link defies explanation by cognitive theories, which hypothesize that received impulses are mathematically processed by neurons to produce outputs. A maths equation which links neural activity to sympathy is hard to imagine.
Instead, this website suggests a more feasible cognitive pattern recognition model. Coded pattern recognition (Nobel Prize 2004) can identify the subtlest of patterns. The olfactory system is believed to distinguish between, say, the aromas of tea and coffee through that newly discovered combinatorial coding.
Such coding can store astronomically large lodes of knowledge in the nervous system. Intuition, an algorithmic process, can utilize such knowledge in linked networks to sense the myriad patterns of life to enable social interactions.
- Scientists discovered that the motor neurons, which support a motor activity also fire, when one animal observes another perform the same activity.
- Intuition, combinatorial coding and pattern recognition can enable the brain to identify a physical action and then imitate the same action within the observer.
- The nervous system recognizes an action using the perceptions of vision, sound, smell, touch and taste.
- Mirror neurons have been reported to be able to identify the intention of an observed activity. They have been reported to feel the pain of another person. Such activities have been reported in both animals and humans.
- Mirror neurons have also been reported to be able to identify the emotions of others.
- Combinatorial codes enable function specific recognition.
- Pattern recognition by the human auditory regions differentiate between spoken words as well as between the different voices of people.
- The deactivation of empathic regions, during infections yawning may have an emotional meaning. Bored (?)
- Behavior pattern recognition by the human brain can explain the mirror network.
recognizes the grimace of a friend and creates your awareness of her
pain through the excitation of the mirror network. These neurons are
contextually positioned in sensory, motor and emotional regions to
translate the intentions, actions and feelings of people into your
subconscious experiences. The network provides you with more personal
data than you can ever uncover by talking to a person. Scientists
suggest that less than 10% of social understanding comes from spoken
words. The network makes you subconsciously aware of the joys and
sorrows of the people around you. Those neurons do not add and
subtract the impulses they receive. They sense patterns and
mirror neuron fires both when an animal acts as well as when it
observes the same action being performed by another. Neurons are
function specific. Vernon Mountcastle first discovered that specific
neurons in the premotor area of the cortex fire during motor control
activities. Researchers, experimenting with monkeys, report that
specific neurons fire when an animal reaches for a peanut, pulls a
lever, or pushes a door.
Rizzolati and Vittorio Gallasse discovered that neurons in the same
regions also fire, when the monkey watches another monkey perform
similar actions. Impulses from visual regions convey visual
information. Firing in motor regions imply motor activity. The monkey
had no neural circuits linking it to the motor systems of another
animal. Yet, it identified another animal's action and triggered the
precise internal motor circuits required to carry out the same
action. The mirror network in an observer translates behavior
other people into his own personal subconscious experience.
Pattern Recognition Neural Model
on date, there are no widely accepted neural or computational models
to explain mirror neuron activity. Presenting a new model, this
website explains how combinatorial coding can enable the nervous
system to identify objects and events. It suggests that the coding
enables massive storage of knowledge. Intuition enables instant
evaluation of available knowledge through a process of lightning fast
inhibition of unrecognized networks. Intuition acts with focused
precision to move a pencil, or to speak a word.
mirror network mirrors the activity of an observed person following a
multi-stage recognition process. The visual recognition system of a
monkey identifies arriving patterns of light as objects, such as its
cage, the levers in it, or as other animals. Their association
regions sense real time sequences of such patterns to be actions,
such as another animal reaching for a peanut, or pulling a lever. The
system contains memories of motor impulses required to perform many
learned and inherited actions. Recognizing an action, special
circuits precisely link a perceived activity to the motor impulses in
related mirror neurons. These neurons make the animals subconsciously
experience the actions of others.
Neurons Recognize Actions
mirror network has been reported to recognize the actions of others
perceived through different sensory channels. For example, a mirror
neuron which fires when a monkey rips a piece of paper would also
fire when the monkey sees a researcher rip a paper, or when it hears
paper ripping. Just as a smell is remembered by the olfactory system,
the “ripping paper” activity is recognized and stored in the
combinatorial codes of the pattern recognition network.
auditory, or even odor signals (if the paper smells differently when
ripped) are all linked to a remembered activity by the codes of
related association regions. Robert Zatorre at McGill University
identified mirror neurons in Broca's area, which became more active
when subjects listened to music they knew how to play compared with
equally familiar music, which they did not know how to play. The
mirror circuits enable us to comprehend motor acts when they are
observed or heard, without the need for explicit reasoning about
Neurons Recognize Intentions
neurons have been reported to be able to differentiate between
intentions. In a record by Fogassi of the activity of 41 mirror
neurons in the inferior parietal lobe of monkeys, 15 neurons
reportedly fired when the experimenter grasped an apple to eat it,
but were inhibited, when he grasped the apple to place it in a cup.
For 4 other neurons, the reverse held true. They were activated, when
the experimenter placed the fruit in a cup and were inhibited, when
he ate it. Recognition in this case was not linked to the action, but
to the intention. At he same time, other neurons fired in recognition
of the act of grasping the fruit.
at a certain stage in the action of the experimenter, it was possible
to differentiate the eating action from the placing action. The
difference was indicated by the combinatorial firing of the related
mirror neurons. With the astronomically large number of combinations
possible with the coding, the system finely differentiates the
objectives of a perceived action.
A Friend's Pain
mirror network has been reported to be sensitive to perceived pain.
Pain cells in the human anterior cingulate, will normally fire when a
patient is pricked with a needle. Researchers at UCLA found that
those cells will also fire when the patient watches another patient
being pricked. The neuron in the observer "mirrored" the
pain of the other. Such neurons have been directly observed in
primates, humans and other species including birds.
using fMRI, TMS, and EEG have found evidence of a similar system
(matching observations with actions), in the human brain. In humans,
mirror neuron activity has been found in the premotor cortex, the
supplementary motor area, the primary somatosensory cortex and the
inferior parietal cortex. In a pattern recognition model, the firing
of a nerve cell implies the transmission of specific information
about a function in the brain. When pain cells fire, the person
experiences pain. The same cells fire to make you experience imagined
pain. Motor systems respond to these signals and you wince with
– Mirror Neurons Identify The Emotion
recognition by the nervous system implies that the firing of specific
neurons trigger specific emotions.
Science has reported that the anterior insula and the inferior
frontal cortex are active when a person experiences disgust,
happiness, or pain. The same regions are activated, when they see
another person experience the emotion. At present mirror neurons for
emotional states or empathy have not yet been reported for
recently, Keysers reported that more empathic people (as per
self-reports) have stronger activations both in the mirror neuron
system for hand actions as well as those for emotions. The emotion of
people can be identified from facial expressions as well as the
visible intentions of their actions. Mirror neurons recognize the
emotions of other people. They sense patterns.
Mirror Neurons Perform Specific Functions
Fried of UCLA discovered mirror neuron activity in several new
regions, including vision. In their experiments, specific subsets of
mirror cells increased their activity during the execution of an
action but decreased it, when an action was only being observed.
Distinct regions controlled actual actions and the internal imitation
of such actions.
differences in activity support the pattern recognition concept that
neural activity is function specific. The firing of a neuron in a
particular region implies a sensation, an action, an emotion, or an
intention. Following combinatorial codes, neurons respond to a
combination of such inputs to produce a contextual functional output.
The codes of a pain sensory neuron inhibit it on receiving an input
from a touch sensory neuron. The result is a link between two data
dimensions, where a caress reduces pain.
Recognition Feeds Data To Mirror Neurons
pattern recognition of speech involves simple processing in the
auditory cortex and its conversion into words elsewhere. Scientists
from Maastricht University identified regions, which generate
specific patterns of firing both for specific sounds as well as for
the people, who utter those sounds. fMRI and data mining techniques
studied brain activity of subjects listening to different speech
sounds (the vowels /a/, /i/ and /u/), spoken by different people.
Just like real fingerprints, these neural patterns were both unique
neural fingerprint of a speech sound did not change if uttered by
somebody else and a speaker's fingerprint remains the same, even if
this person said something different. Different combinatorial codes
identified the myriad parameters of each activity. The receipt of
coded interpretations from many regions enable the mirror neurons to
fire and enable the observer to sense the pain, or anger of an
Neurons And Yawning
a person yawning, talking to someone on the phone who is yawning, or
even just thinking of yawning can trigger yawning. Infectious yawning
has also been noted in chimpanzees. The periamygdalar region is a
zone that lies alongside the amygdala, deep in the brain. The
periamygdalar region has been linked to the unconscious analysis of
emotional expressions in faces. Scientists report deactivation of the
left periamygdalar region, when a person wishes to yawn. The more
strongly a participant reported wanting to yawn in response to
another person’s yawn, the stronger was this deactivation.
intuitive process in human pattern recognition operates through
inhibition of unrelated regions. When animal begins to drink water,
it inhibits its eating processes. Could a yawn imply a cut off of
empathic relationships, when a person yawns? In many cultures, a yawn
is an acknowledged sign of disinterest.
The Apex Of Behavior Pattern Recognition
recognition identifies vaguely delineated entities, such as diseases,
human faces, or video images. The human mind contains powerful
regions, which sense the behavior of objects in the environment. The
process is supported by massive memories and myriad analytical
subsystems. Behavior pattern recognition enables the human mind to
understand events. Mirror neurons operate at the highest level of
this process, enabling a person to comprehend the intentions,
emotions and actions of people, without reasoning out these
processes. They just know.
in this field has clearly demonstrated that particular neurons fire
when such complex patterns are identified. Combinatorial coding
responds to the firing of particular neurons. The Nobel Prize winning
research on the combinatorial coding reported that the system
accurately recognized the firing combinations of olfactory receptors.
These discoveries clearly point to combinatorial coding as the
fundamental process of the mind. Mirror neurons provide more evidence
that the mind is a pattern recognition entity responding to
This page was last updated on 01-Jan-2014.