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muser
03-05-2010, 06:04 PM
Would be interested to hear how conscious of mirroring people here are.

Most commonly noticed when drinking pints or any beverage with friends, also smoking cigarettes. I notice that people will smoke a drag mirroring drinking also. See it with eating sometimes but to a lesser extent. There's also mirroring and then stopping halfway for example holding off (de-synchronizing or synchronizing) putting the glass down. So yes my observations are mainly pub/drinking related..

I'm sure theirs loads more much more subtle examples of this but it's still strange when you're totally aware of yourself and others doing it, despite it being subconscious and pretty much uncontrollable.

scottdisco
03-05-2010, 06:24 PM
mates and i after a while drinking pints in the pub (so, yes, shoring up your initial example) will definitely sychronize the speed at which we drink, lifting and putting down pints at exactly the same time, and you end up compensating if someone is slurping down volume quicker than others.

you're so right, you're aware of it, but you do it anyway.

that's my most obvious example too i must admit, nothing else really springing to mind at the mo.

mixed_biscuits
03-05-2010, 07:04 PM
I've tried using mirroring in interviews, with the idea being that I reflect the interviewer's actions until we are in synch and then attempt to become the 'lead' and manipulate the situation to my advantage.

Performing opposite actions may also be a good way to drive others' moods downwards (or get them to be pissed off with you) without them knowing quite why.

Presumably if you mirror first and then purposefully anti-synch you can get people to feel 'off' or unsatisfactory (it was going so well!).

sufi
03-05-2010, 09:41 PM
i often find i do this with body language; crossing arms, chin stroking, that sorta thing, soon as i become conscious of it it annoys me, so i then tend to change my posture, which feels uncomfortable, and then i find i've fallen back into the same pose again....
occasionally whoever it is i'm mirroring will follow my lead and mirror me, then that's a small moment of amusement before i feel uncomfortably manipulative ....
mirroring = awkwardness :eek:

zhao
03-05-2010, 10:07 PM
i always feel a bit embarrassed when this happens, and "hold off" and "de-synch".

never knew that there has been so much thought about this, all this stuff Mixed Biscuits says.

kinda like the breath synchronization they say contribute to subconscious increase of empathy and togetherness (minor pickup technique)

mistersloane
03-05-2010, 11:38 PM
I used to do it Burroughs-style to make people who'd annoyed me trip over by falling into step with their gait and then falling out of it. "When mirroring goes bad...". And also to make people fall in love with me by mirroring their breathing patterns etc.

nomadthethird
03-05-2010, 11:52 PM
Yawning really brings this out.

Not to turn this into a neurology discussion but this kind of thing is probably caused by mirror neurons. We have neurons that light up in our brains when someone else performs an action. Say someone raises their arm: the same synapses in your brain immediately fire that would if you yourself raised your arm. Usually, these impulses are inhibited by another type of neuron, which keeps you from going around mimicing people all the time.

I'd guess that if you're drunk, or talking directly facing someone, and are especially rapt, you'd be more likely to mirror them, because your brain probably gives up a little on inhibiting the mimic response.

Mirror neurons are involved in learning and social behavior...empathy... that kind of thing..

scottdisco
03-05-2010, 11:56 PM
you really are a neurology-fascist, eh?
;)

(fascinating on brains giving up on inhibiting the mimic response when one is in, say, a tired and emotional state.)

nomadthethird
04-05-2010, 12:04 AM
you really are a neurology-fascist, eh?
;)

(fascinating on brains giving up on inhibiting the mimic response when one is in, say, a tired and emotional state.)

That part was totally speculation on my part, although it seems to be the only way to explain why the inhibition impulses give up sometimes...should try to look this up...

scottdisco
04-05-2010, 12:15 AM
That part was totally speculation on my part, although it seems to be the only way to explain why the inhibition impulses give up sometimes...should try to look this up...

well all our offline examples thus far tend to involve pick-ups, alcohol, etc., so it seems a worthwhile first line of speculative enquiry...

muser
04-05-2010, 04:32 PM
Yawning really brings this out.

Not to turn this into a neurology discussion but this kind of thing is probably caused by mirror neurons. We have neurons that light up in our brains when someone else performs an action. Say someone raises their arm: the same synapses in your brain immediately fire that would if you yourself raised your arm. Usually, these impulses are inhibited by another type of neuron, which keeps you from going around mimicing people all the time.

I'd guess that if you're drunk, or talking directly facing someone, and are especially rapt, you'd be more likely to mirror them, because your brain probably gives up a little on inhibiting the mimic response.

Mirror neurons are involved in learning and social behavior...empathy... that kind of thing..

Ah yes yawning is a big one. Thats interesting about mirror neurons, I know this is probably a bit stupid but with regards to findings like this I don't understand how they can tell whether those neurons are a cause or effect of something like mirroring.

Isn't it possible that you are sub-consciously thinking that you should say lift your arm when seeing someone else do it and then those neurons are being activated as a result? I know that physical actions are activated in our brain a considerable amount of time before we actually do them. If "mirror neurons" are seen activated in the same place that lights up when you are actually doing the action then how can they tell they are seperate?

nomadthethird
04-05-2010, 04:56 PM
Ah yes yawning is a big one. Thats interesting about mirror neurons, I know this is probably a bit stupid but with regards to findings like this I don't understand how they can tell whether those neurons are a cause or effect of something like mirroring.

Isn't it possible that you are sub-consciously thinking that you should say lift your arm when seeing someone else do it and then those neurons are being activated as a result? I know that physical actions are activated in our brain a considerable amount of time before we actually do them. If "mirror neurons" are seen activated in the same place that lights up when you are actually doing the action then how can they tell they are seperate?

I'm sorry, I don't really understand the question...

If you're asking if mirror neurons are part of your voluntary neural pathways- yes, they are. Nobody said they were separate from actions-- they're a type of motor neuron.

Edit: here's a link (http://thebrain.mcgill.ca/flash/a/a_06/a_06_cl/a_06_cl_mou/a_06_cl_mou.html).