V.S. Ramachandran on Culture:
3-400,000 years ago the brain was already at its present size. 75,000 years ago humans took a great leap forward, discovering a vast number of new skills
The emergence of a sophisticated mirror neuron system at this time allowed for emulation of another’s actions
Accidental discoveries, instead of dying out, spread rapidly horizontally across the populations or are transmitted vertically down the generations.
In this way, Culture is Lamarckian – it takes humans five minutes to learn what a species subject to Darwinian evolution takes 100,000 years to learn.
Lecture at TEDIndia 2009, Filmed Nov 2009, Posted Jan 2010
The Mirror Box:
There is increasing evidence that an optical apparatus called the Mirrorbox contributes to the breakdown of discrete identity. Through an immersive helmet design and specially sequenced lighting program, the Mirrorbox helps collapse personal boundary thresholds allowing participants to enter into a state of temporary shared identity with one another.
Imaginary Foundation, Aug2012
Megan Daalder is an instructor at UCLA’s Art/Science Nanolab. Nanolab is a two-week program for high school students at the intersection of art and science. Daalder’s video tells the story about how one of her art projects morphed into an investigation into the psychology and neuroscience of empathy.