Mirror neurons and learning
Probably you recognize the urge to start yawning when you see someone else yawns, smiling when you see someone laugh, or that you start to cry while watching a sad movie. When something like this has happened to you, your mirror neurons have been activated. Humans and primates have these mirror neurons and they are related to imitation, social and empathic behaviour (Rizzolatti & Craighero 2004).
Imitation is key to learning and mirror neurons are active from birth on. Because of mirror neurons, we learn how to speak, behave, move and much more. They are essential in child development and in education. Humans are used to learn from one another and seeing a teacher or a parent showing a skill gives us a tangible experience, which is much more efficient than just plain explanation. Especially in learning human movement, mirror neurons play an important role (Gog et al. 2008).