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Copying The People Around Us

Copying The People Around Us

Humans are able to reproduce the computations inside the brains of others.

Human beings are great at adapting the behaviours of others through observation. A new study shows that apart from learning through observing others behaviour, we also copy the minds of others as we grow older, learning how the people around us think and feel.



When the process of observational learning and copying of brain computations goes wrong, it leads to many various mental health issues.

Certain complications that can arise include the inability to empathize with the other person, or erosion of one’s own ‘self’ due to other person thoughts being dominant.

It states that humans associate, anticipate and make sense of the other’s behaviour by activating certain mental processes, that when acted upon, produce similar behaviour.

This theory has useful implications in various mental health fields, as it can make people emulate desirable behaviour, training the brain to know and understand the other person based on their actions.

The brain activity contains information not only about what’s going on in the world (objective) but also about who is thinking about the world (subjective).

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In a musical reward experiment, researchers found that music is, in itself, a viable reward to motivate the brain to learn new information. 



Comparing the computer and the brain has been instructive to both computer engineers and neuroscientists.

  • Computers are faster with basic operations, at a speed of 10 billion operations per second, while the brain can perform at about a thousand basic operations per second.
  • The computer has considerable advantages in the precision of basic operations. A 32-bit computer has a precision of 1 in 4,2 billion, while the brain has a precision of 1 in 100 at best.

Some people recommend wearing nice clothes to prime thoughts like success, wealth, and professionalism. 

Interestingly, wearing nice clothes also primes the thoughts of other people to respond to you in a certain way.