Mirror neurons and science careers

Spiegel online has an excellent report about mirror neurons, empathy, social background and research (taking up a theme in the ZEIT 2003)

“In unserer Kultur sind am erfolgreichsten die”, sagt Gruen, “die am meisten von ihren Gefühlen, von der Fähigkeit zum Mitgefühl abgeschnitten sind.”

or with the corresponding Wiki article

According to Freud, human beings are born with an innate tendency to destruction and violence; throughout his scholarly and clinical career, Prof. Gruen has challenged that assumption, arguing instead that at the root of evil lies self-hatred, a rage originating in a self-betrayal that begins in childhood

Mirror neurons are necessary for empathy are being formed. The pattern of over-adaptation is a common phenomenon that I observed in many science careers. Interestingly it is much less pronounced in top scoring scientists as over-adaptation would have kept them in the mainstream.