- Paul Zohav
- Bellevue, WA
- United States
Counselor, Psychotherapist and Coach,
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We may be able to associate mirror neuron development, the development of human empathy, & the occurrence of Domestic Violence.
Infants at birth have a large number of mirror neurons, a number that tapers off in the first few years of life. (This may help account for the easy acquisition of language until age four years.) Employing our neurons we learn by copying the actions, words, and emotions of others. It has been asserted that the capacity to empathize, to feel the emotions of others is a product of the mirror neuron function. Those children, many of whom are males, are nurtured to a different degree than their female siblings. This has an impact on the growth and development of the child's capacity to empathize. It therefore should be no surprise that the grown child, now adult and lacking in the capacity to experience the pain of the other has little difficulty inflicting hurt and pain on the other. Further the development, or lack thereof of mirror neurons may help us to understand human psychological syndromes from Aspergers to psychopathy.