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Emotional Contagion


   The concept of mirror neurons originated when researchers studying the brains of macaque monkeys discovered that certain neurons started firing when the monkeys did something and when they watched other monkeys do the same thing.

   It seems that a similar process might happen in humans. Some experts believe that the mirror neuron system extends beyond physical actions and might explain how we experience empathy for others.

Mimicry - Generally, mimicry happens through body language. When talking to friend, for example, you might begin unconsciously copying their pose, gestures, or facial expressions.

Feedback - By mimicking an emotion, you begin to experience it. In the example above, your relaxed facial expression might help you feel calmer. this can also happen with more deep-seated emotional experiences and moods, such as depression.

Contagion - Mimicking an emotion typically evokes that emotion in you, and it then becomes part of your own experience. You begin to express it or relate it to others in the same way, and the process of contagion is complete.

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