According to Giacomo Rizzolatti, it is possible.

To carry out a series of experiments with macaque monkeys, in 1996, this Italian neurobiologist and his team found that a series of cells are activated in the brain, both when performing an action, as well as while watching another, perform the action. They were called mirror neurons.

As underlines Martinez, J. (2009), the neuron function reflected in the brain, plays the same neural activity corresponding to the activity perceived as if it were a mirror, only that the conduct has not turned outward. In other words, as if the observer performs the action, without acting it. This creates imperceptible movements that are only possible to measure through magnetic resonance instruments.

Mirror neurons are not only activated to visual stimuli but also auditory. For example such neurons are activated when suffering a car crash but all the same when the person is merely witnessing it or even listening the sound produced by the accident. It is also believed that these neurons can help detect intentionality and to predict the actions of the observed subject. This has led to analyze people’s brain activity, while they observe and imitate facial and body expressions associated with certain emotions.

Giaccomo Rizzolati (2005), in an interview for the newspaper El País, in Madrid, Spain said that “the most important message of the mirror neuron system is showing we are truly social beings. The society, the family and the community are actually inborn values. Now our society tries to deny it, and the reason young people are so unhappy is because they do not create ties. Something similar happens with imitation, in the West there is a strong refusal. It says: ´Do not imitate, you have to be original´ but it is a mistake. First you have to imitate and then you can be original. To understand this, you just have to look at the great painters.” RIZZOLATI, G. (2005). El Pais. [Online] 19th October.

Available from:

[Accessed: 25th, January 2016]


The video below can be of your interest.


Ruth Talavera Flores


Research Associate & IRIANS’s Representative for

the Iberian Peninsula and Mexico

IRIANS – The Neuroscience Institute


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