Near the close of the twentieth century, neurologists uncovered something in our brains called the Mirror neuron. This neuron lights up both in the performer of an action and in the observer. Take crying at a particularly sorrowful part of a play. The actor and the audience’s Mirror neurons are going off, triggering melancholic emotions for both parties. In a sense, the Mirror neuron is the neurological basis for empathy.
To stir the pot further, research shows that the Mirror neuron can also be triggered exclusively by the sound of actions.
Now could this be the neurological basis for the claim that music is a universal language? Regardless of where it’s from, music can exhibit and bring out emotions of all kind. The Mirror neurons triggered in the Brazilian Bossa Nova band also go off in the American listener, sending out jovial and lively vibes for everyone involved.
My favorite question in regards to the Mirror neuron: Could Mirror neurons of performer and audience combine into one universal neuron for the whole music space?
Most of us have had a concert experience where we knew everyone was on the same wave length, where a beautiful symmetry took place. Then the answer is yes. Universal Mirrors have occurred.
Now we must ask how to get to this moment again and again.