Mirror Neurons, Imitation Learning and Empathy

Mirror Neurons help explain why watching someone perform a task is almost as important as doing it yourself. The human brain responds to both doing and watching in the same way. Mirror neurons may also play an important role in social interaction and the development of empathy. Researchers recently proposed that their dysfunction may explain some of the symptoms of autism. And speaking of autism, what about a possible link to early television exposure? This reinforces the AAP “no television under 2 years of age” recommendation.

Folding Bicycles

While I was in Philadephia over the summer I was amazed by the number of folding bicycles. About half of all the bikes I saw were folders. Of course they make eminent sense for urban dewellers. I’ve always been interested in “packable” bicycles, and have a thirty year old three-speed folder gathering dust in my garage. The concept has come a long way since then! Over the holidays I bought two Dahon Speed D7 bikes for $299 each. They’re an exquisite bit of engineering for the price. The principal flaw with the older design, a telescoping seat post, has been replaced by a single long piece. The 20 inch wheels are a nice compromise, the components are good, and the road feel is solid. Folding the bike takes less than a minute, and two of them will fit in the trunk of a small car! Go to this Buyer’s Guide and site for more information on the various brands available.