neuron discipleship

I was thinking about mirror neurons as I was cycling this afternoon (really). They’re recently “discovered” neurons that are a subset of the motor neurons in our frontal cortex.  While motor neurons fire whenever we move, mirror neurons fire when someone else moves –  as though virtually mimicking the action of another.   They fire even if we’re not moving, and neurologists figure that this mirroring activity is the way the brain begins to learn how to imitate behaviours.   (I got all this stuff from a lecturer on TED named VS Ramachandran – ).   Anyway, I was thinking that it’s neat how God built a capacity to follow into the basic fabric of our brains.  Our brains imitate the activity of another whether we want them to or not.   We can choose to follow up with that imitation by mimicking the action (we still have free will) but regardless, as some subconscious level we still follow.   We’re built to follow God; the ultimate Other, making the ultimate movements.   I wonder if Jesus (the one through whom all things were made)  knew about this when he said, “Follow me.”

One thought on “neuron discipleship

  1. Kayleigh

    This is VERY cool! But then again, it doesn’t surprise me. Why else do children grow up to have very similar movements and expressions to their caregivers, friends, those that have spent a great deal of time with them?!

    It reminds me of the Sunday when you and Tom both leaned on the stage in exactly the same manner. And when this was pointed out you both backed away and crossed your arms in the same way. To me it proved that your boy had watched you and loved you as he grew. Without even meaning to, because you were his dad, his abba, he admired the tiny way you did things and his brain unconsciously told him “this is how to do it. This is the right way.”

    To mirror that to Christ is beautiful indeed.

    Thanks for sharing!

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