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The Social Brain

By Dr. Sunita Rai

The social brain is designed to connect and regulate itself with the social brain of another. The mirror neuron behaves as a mirror image of another’s person non-verbals such as expressions and actions amongst others and plays a fundamental role in understanding imitation and action. Mirror systems are suspected to be involved with many social functions, including learning, the evolution of gestural and verbal language, and empathetic attunement (Cozolino, 2006).

For a therapist, it helps us connect with the clients and move into their world of experiences. Dr Goleman (2007) shared how the circuitry which manages these emotional intelligence ability is malleable in life through neuroplasticity and how we can continue to strength and build this circulatory. One way to build this is through meditation which has been emphasized greatly by the ancient Southasian philosophers such Patanjali, Vyasa and Shankara. There are 100 over meditation techniques taught as part of the Yoga tradition. Cozolino (2006) shared how early negative interpersonal experiences become a primary source of symptoms for which people seek relief in therapy. Interpersonally neurobiology agrees with Dr Goleman that the brain is a social organ of adaptation that builds, transforms and integrates through interactions and experiences with others. Interestingly, he states that ‘there are no single brains’ and links positive attachment and relationships to healthy development. There are many new insights from Cozolino’s works.


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