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The dark lesson of Bernie Madoff | Salon

Behavioral neurologist V.S Ramachandran has referred to mirror neurons as “empathy neurons” or “Dalai Llama neurons.” He believes this system, by allowing us to understand the intentions and desires of others, is the principal driving force behind “the great leap forward” in human evolution. As a result of such claims, the mirror neuron system has risen to the level of accepted folk psychology. According to U.C. Berkeley psychologist Alison Gopnik, “Mirror neurons have become the ‘left brain/right brain’ of the 21st century.”

But [Bernard] Madoff’s behavior raises serious questions about the relationship between mirror neurons and empathy — and represents a golden opportunity to study the as yet puzzling connection between them. …

via The dark lesson of Bernie Madoff | Salon.