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Leaping Animals and Mirror Neurons

I truly love mirror neurons. They are the neurons (electrically excitable cells that process and transmit information through electrical and chemical signals) that fire both when we do an action and when we observe the same action performed by another. The neuron “mirrors” the behavior of the other, as though we the observer ourselves were doing the action.

The extent to which our mirror neurons fire is dependent on how fluent or skilled we ourselves are in the movement itself. So, if I have a lot of experience playing basketball, I will get a real experience from watching others play. In my case, I have a lot of experience singing extraordinary music, so when I hear other singers soar, I get a huge vicarious thrill!

When FM Alexander discovered the significance of the head/ spine relationship in his acting and movement, followed later by science’s recognition that the head/spine relationship is the organizing factor of all vertebrate mammalian movement, we were given a key to unlock beautifully coordinated movement. You can see in these photos the undeniable power of the head leading the whole being into action.

We are all natural born movers.

We are all organized by the dynamic relationship between head and spine.

And we have all jumped, bounded, skipped and sprung across a creek, a puddle, an icy chasm, or something of that ilk in our lives.

 This post then, is a big wheeeeee for your mirror neurons. Happy leaping!

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March 27, 2016 / Uncategorized

Kate Conklin is a performance coach and teacher of voice and the Alexander Technique. Kate specializes in helping world-class performers whose work requires excellent technique and profound artistry. She teaches in Los Angeles and remotely via Skype.

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