TED Conversations

Maria Georgescu


This conversation is closed.

What is the power behind a shared experience?

In my Bioelectricity class this week, We learned that it is the low resistance pathways between the billions of myocardial cells in the heart that allow this amazing organ to beat in synchrony. We also learned that in a particular study, one subject's EKG could be measured on another person's EEG simply through touch (http://www.reiki.org/Download/electricity_of_touch1.pdf). It's incredible to think that a signal we are not consciously aware of can have a measurable impact on another person's mind and even heart.

Thinking more broadly: Who hasn't felt an urge to yawn within a few minutes of being in the presence of other yawning people? Or burst out laughing over an absurd happening that might not really have been funny? We encounter these types of shared experiences throughout our everyday lives.

Low resistance enables heart cells work together in synchrony. How can we
as species, work together taking advantage of our connected world?


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Mar 27 2012: The power behind shared experience lies within the mirror neuron--It is a special type of neuron that reacts to our observation of other people experiencing various sensations that we are familiar with--We are not performing the actions that provide the experiences such as taste and smell and so forth, but as we observe the actions our mirror neurons respond in a way that produces these sensations as if WE were performing these actions. Simply in observing others we are altering our neural pathways. Since everyone is equipped with mirror neurons, these experiences are reciprocal--Which also means that when we produce certain sensations through cognitive thought, we are enabling those observing us to experience the same things, and we are also subtly altering THEIR neural pathways.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.