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  • I'd like to talk to you today about the human brain,

    譯者: Wang Qian 審譯者: Liqiu Qiao

  • which is what we do research on at the University of California.

    今天,我想和大家一探 大腦的奧秘,

  • Just think about this problem for a second.

    我在加州大 學做相關研究。

  • Here is a lump of flesh, about three pounds,

    試著思考一下這 個問題。

  • which you can hold in the palm of your hand.

    這裏有一堆肉, 大概重三磅左右,

  • But it can contemplate the vastness of interstellar space.

    可以用一掌來 握住。

  • It can contemplate the meaning of infinity,

    但它卻可以探 究浩瀚的星際空間;

  • ask questions about the meaning of its own existence,

    可以探究無限 的意義;

  • about the nature of God.

    可以探究自身 存在的意義;

  • And this is truly the most amazing thing in the world.

    可以探究上帝 的本質。

  • It's the greatest mystery confronting human beings:

    這是世界上最 不可思議之事。

  • How does this all come about?

    這是人類面臨 的最大難題之一。

  • Well, the brain, as you know, is made up of neurons.

    這一切是怎麼 來的?

  • We're looking at neurons here.

    正如你們所 知,腦組織是由神經元所組成的。

  • There are 100 billion neurons in the adult human brain.

    這就是神經 元。

  • And each neuron makes something like 1,000 to 10,000 contacts

    成人腦組織裏 含有一千億個神經元。

  • with other neurons in the brain.

    每個神經元與 其他神經元的

  • And based on this, people have calculated

    交接點約有一 千至一萬處。

  • that the number of permutations and combinations of brain activity

    基於此,人們 對之進行了計算,

  • exceeds the number of elementary particles in the universe.

    並得出各種大 腦活動的組合總量

  • So, how do you go about studying the brain?

    超過了宇宙中 基本粒子的數量。

  • One approach is to look at patients who had lesions

    所以,我們應 該如何研究大腦?

  • in different part of the brain, and study changes in their behavior.

    一種方法是觀 察那些有受過腦部 損傷的人,

  • This is what I spoke about in the last TED.

    以 來研究他們行為的變遷。

  • Today I'll talk about a different approach,

    這是我於上次 TED大會上所講的內容。

  • which is to put electrodes in different parts of the brain,

    今天我將講述 一種新的方法。

  • and actually record the activity of individual nerve cells in the brain.

    這種方法是將 電極線置放於大腦的不同部位,

  • Sort of eavesdrop on the activity of nerve cells in the brain.

    以記錄單個神 經細胞的活動性。

  • Now, one recent discovery that has been made

    頗類似於竊聽 神經細胞在大腦內的活動。

  • by researchers in Italy, in Parma,

    最近,義大利 帕爾馬的

  • by Giacomo Rizzolatti and his colleagues,


  • is a group of neurons called mirror neurons,


  • which are on the front of the brain in the frontal lobes.

    在大腦前額葉 發現了一組神 經元,

  • Now, it turns out there are neurons

    這組神經元被 他們稱作鏡像神經元。

  • which are called ordinary motor command neurons in the front of the brain,

    此外,大腦裏 面還有一組神經元,

  • which have been known for over 50 years.

    稱作運動神經 元,也位於大腦的前半部分,

  • These neurons will fire when a person performs a specific action.

    這組神經元是 50年前的發現。

  • For example, if I do that, and reach and grab an apple,

    當我們要做某 種運動時,這組神經元就會發射資訊至相關器官。

  • a motor command neuron in the front of my brain will fire.

    例如,假若我 這樣做,我向前屈伸,然後抓住一隻蘋果,

  • If I reach out and pull an object, another neuron will fire,

    一個運動神經 元則會[向我的手]發射一組資訊。

  • commanding me to pull that object.

    假如我向前 屈伸,並回拉一件物品,另外一個神經元則會 發射另一組 資訊

  • These are called motor command neurons that have been known for a long time.


  • But what Rizzolatti found was

    很早以前, 這些運動神經元就被發現了。

  • a subset of these neurons,

    不過,裏佐 拉蒂他們發現

  • maybe about 20 percent of them, will also fire

    這組神經元 中包含著另外一組神經元,

  • when I'm looking at somebody else performing the same action.

    大約百分之 二十左右。

  • So, here is a neuron that fires when I reach and grab something,

    這些神經元是會當我觀看他人 行動時,

  • but it also fires when I watch Joe reaching and grabbing something.

    所以,當我 向前抓住某物件時,有個神經元會發出相關資訊,

  • And this is truly astonishing.

    可是若我觀 看喬做相同的動作時,另一個神經元也會發出相關資訊。

  • Because it's as though this neuron is adopting

    這實在是令 人震驚。

  • the other person's point of view.

    因為這表 明,神經元也會

  • It's almost as though it's performing a virtual reality simulation

    採納別人的 觀點。

  • of the other person's action.

    幾乎就是模 仿了他人的動作,

  • Now, what is the significance of these mirror neurons?

    有如虛擬現 實仿真。

  • For one thing they must be involved in things like imitation and emulation.

    那麼,這些 鏡像神經元有何存在意義呢?

  • Because to imitate a complex act

    這裏我必須 引入模仿和仿真的概念。

  • requires my brain to adopt the other person's point of view.

    假使我們要 模仿一種複雜的行為,

  • So, this is important for imitation and emulation.

    那麼我們的 大腦則需要採納他人的行為觀點。

  • Well, why is that important?

    因此模仿和 仿真是非常重要的。

  • Well, let's take a look at the next slide.

    好了,它們 為什麼重要呢?

  • So, how do you do imitation? Why is imitation important?

    讓我們看看 下一張幻燈片。

  • Mirror neurons and imitation, emulation.

    你怎樣進行 模仿?模仿為什麼重要?

  • Now, let's look at culture, the phenomenon of human culture.

    鏡像神經 元,模仿和仿真。

  • If you go back in time about [75,000] to 100,000 years ago,

    現在,讓我 們從人類文化方面入手。

  • let's look at human evolution, it turns out

    讓我們回到 七萬五千年至十萬年前時,

  • that something very important happened around 75,000 years ago.

    我們來觀測 下人類進化的過程,結果發現

  • And that is, there is a sudden emergence and rapid spread

    于七萬五千 年前左右,一件重大事件影響了人類的發展。

  • of a number of skills that are unique to human beings

    那就是,各 種獨特的“人類”技巧

  • like tool use,

    突然出現以 及迅速傳播。這些技巧包括

  • the use of fire, the use of shelters, and, of course, language,

    工具的使 用、

  • and the ability to read somebody else's mind

    火的使用、 房屋的出現和語言交流,

  • and interpret that person's behavior.

    以及讀取他 人心思的能力和

  • All of that happened relatively quickly.

    理解他人的 行為。

  • Even though the human brain had achieved its present size

    這一切都相 對地較快發生。

  • almost three or four hundred thousand years ago,

    原始人類的 大腦形狀大約于四至五十萬年前

  • 100,000 years ago all of this happened very, very quickly.

    就已經發育 至今人的形狀,

  • And I claim that what happened was

    不過這些事 件則是十萬年前才快速地發生。

  • the sudden emergence of a sophisticated mirror neuron system,

    我認為這些 事件的產生是

  • which allowed you to emulate and imitate other people's actions.

    源于先進的 鏡像神經元系統的突然浮現,

  • So that when there was a sudden accidental discovery

    這些神經元 將允許你模仿他人的行為

  • by one member of the group, say the use of fire,

    所以當氏族 的某一成員偶然

  • or a particular type of tool, instead of dying out,

    發現,火的 使用,

  • this spread rapidly, horizontally across the population,

    而非凋零消 亡,

  • or was transmitted vertically, down the generations.


  • So, this made evolution suddenly Lamarckian,

    或者代代縱 向傳播。

  • instead of Darwinian.

    所以,這是 一種拉馬克式進化,

  • Darwinian evolution is slow; it takes hundreds of thousands of years.

    而非達爾文 式。

  • A polar bear, to evolve a coat,

    達爾文式進 化是異乎緩慢的,它大概需要幾千年的時間來產生效用。

  • will take thousands of generations, maybe 100,000 years.

    若要使一隻 北極熊進化出一件外衣,

  • A human being, a child, can just watch its parent

    則需要他們 經過數千代的傳承,或許需要十萬年方能得出外衣。

  • kill another polar bear,

    一個人類小 孩,則僅需觀看他的父母

  • and skin it and put the skin on its body, fur on the body,

    如何屠殺另 一隻北極熊,

  • and learn it in one step. What the polar bear

    將其剝皮拆 骨,用來製造外衣。

  • took 100,000 years to learn,

    小孩因此可 以快速掌握這一技能。

  • it can learn in five minutes, maybe 10 minutes.

    北極熊需要 十萬年才得以進化出外衣,

  • And then once it's learned this it spreads

    人類小孩僅 僅要五分鐘或者十分鐘就學會了。

  • in geometric proportion across a population.

    當他們學會 之後,這項技能將以

  • This is the basis. The imitation of complex skills

    燎原之勢散 播於他們的氏族當中。

  • is what we call culture and is the basis of civilization.

    這就是本 源。文化就是模仿

  • Now there is another kind of mirror neuron,

    複雜的行為 活動,而文明則產於此。

  • which is involved in something quite different.

    現在我將講 到另外一種鏡像神經元,

  • And that is, there are mirror neurons,

    擔負另外的 功能。

  • just as there are mirror neurons for action, there are mirror neurons for touch.

    有些鏡像神 經元

  • In other words, if somebody touches me,


  • my hand, neuron in the somatosensory cortex

    換句話來 說,假如某人觸碰了我,

  • in the sensory region of the brain fires.

    我的手,位 於軀體感覺皮層的神經元

  • But the same neuron, in some cases, will fire

    將會發出一 組資訊。

  • when I simply watch another person being touched.

    但同一個神 經元,在某些情況下,

  • So, it's empathizing the other person being touched.

    當我觀看他 人被觸碰時,也會發出資訊。

  • So, most of them will fire when I'm touched

    注意,我是 說他人被觸碰。

  • in different locations. Different neurons for different locations.

    大多數的神 經元都會於我被觸碰時

  • But a subset of them will fire even when I watch somebody else

    發出資訊。 不同的神經元負責不同的身體區域。

  • being touched in the same location.

    偏偏有小部 分的神經元在我觀看他人被觸碰時

  • So, here again you have neurons

    也會發出相 同的資訊。

  • which are enrolled in empathy.

    因此,這裏 又有一群神經元

  • Now, the question then arises: If I simply watch another person being touched,

    參與進了你 與他人之間的共鳴。

  • why do I not get confused and literally feel that touch sensation

    不過問題 是:假如我只觀看他人被觸碰,

  • merely by watching somebody being touched?

    那麼為什麼 我不會

  • I mean, I empathize with that person but I don't literally feel the touch.

    有那種被觸 碰的感覺呢?

  • Well, that's because you've got receptors in your skin,

    我與那人產 生共鳴,但我並未產生觸碰感。

  • touch and pain receptors, going back into your brain

    那是因為我 們皮膚上有感受器,

  • and saying "Don't worry, you're not being touched.

    一種痛感受 器,它會向大腦

  • So, empathize, by all means, with the other person,

    回饋道: “切莫擔心,你還未被觸碰呢。

  • but do not actually experience the touch,

    注意,是另 外一個人被觸碰呢,

  • otherwise you'll get confused and muddled."

    而不是我們 自己呀。

  • Okay, so there is a feedback signal

    要不我們自 己則會搞混呢。”

  • that vetoes the signal of the mirror neuron

    所以,這裏 會有一種回饋信號

  • preventing you from consciously experiencing that touch.

    以阻止鏡像 神經元所發出的信號,

  • But if you remove the arm, you simply anesthetize my arm,

    從而使你避 免感覺到那股錯誤的觸碰感。

  • so you put an injection into my arm,

    然而,當你 移除你的手臂時,

  • anesthetize the brachial plexus, so the arm is numb,

    或者向你的 手臂注射麻醉劑,

  • and there is no sensations coming in,

    從而麻醉臂 叢神經

  • if I now watch you being touched,

    使你無法感 覺到你的手臂的時候,

  • I literally feel it in my hand.

    假如你現在 觀看他人手掌被觸碰,

  • In other words, you have dissolved the barrier

    你的手掌也 會有被觸碰的感覺。

  • between you and other human beings.

    換句話說, 你將你與他人之間的

  • So, I call them Gandhi neurons, or empathy neurons.

    隔膜溶解 了。

  • (Laughter)

    因此,我稱 他們為甘地神經元,或者是共鳴神經元。

  • And this is not in some abstract metaphorical sense.


  • All that's separating you from him,

    這並不是種 抽象的道理,

  • from the other person, is your skin.

    將你與他人 隔開的

  • Remove the skin, you experience that person's touch in your mind.

    就是你的皮 膚。

  • You've dissolved the barrier between you and other human beings.

    移除你的皮 膚,你將會與他人感同身受。

  • And this, of course, is the basis of much of Eastern philosophy,

    你將你與他 人之間的隔膜溶解了。

  • and that is there is no real independent self,

    這些當然就 是大部分東方哲學的基礎。

  • aloof from other human beings, inspecting the world,

    那就是沒有 真實獨立的自我

  • inspecting other people.

    將你與他人 隔開,從而以審視這個世界,

  • You are, in fact, connected not just via Facebook and Internet,


  • you're actually quite literally connected by your neurons.

    事實上,我 們與他人交結並不只是通過Facebook或是網路,

  • And there is whole chains of neurons around this room, talking to each other.

    而是各式各 樣的神經元。

  • And there is no real distinctiveness

    在這間大廳 裏,有一群的神經元正互相交談著呢。

  • of your consciousness from somebody else's consciousness.

    你與他人的 意識

  • And this is not mumbo-jumbo philosophy.

    並沒有任何 真正的差異。

  • It emerges from our understanding of basic neuroscience.

    這並不是晦 澀難懂的哲學。

  • So, you have a patient with a phantom limb. If the arm has been removed

    這是由基礎 神經學所引申出來的。

  • and you have a phantom, and you watch somebody else

    當你接診一 位有幻肢的病人時,幻肢即是

  • being touched, you feel it in your phantom.

    截肢或殘廢 的患者仍感到自己有該肢體的存在,當他觀察他人

  • Now the astonishing thing is,

    被觸碰時, 他也會有此感。

  • if you have pain in your phantom limb, you squeeze the other person's hand,

    令人震驚的 是,

  • massage the other person's hand,

    當你患有幻 肢痛時,你對他人的手掌

  • that relieves the pain in your phantom hand,

    進行按摩 時,

  • almost as though the neuron

    你的疼痛感 便會減輕。

  • were obtaining relief from merely

    這是因為你 的神經元

  • watching somebody else being massaged.

    正獲取他人 被按摩時

  • So, here you have my last slide.

    所獲得的舒 適感。

  • For the longest time people have regarded science

    這是我最後 一張幻燈片。

  • and humanities as being distinct.

    長期以來, 人們都將科學與

  • C.P. Snow spoke of the two cultures:

    人文學科分 開,

  • science on the one hand, humanities on the other;

    C.P.斯 諾指出兩種文化:

  • never the twain shall meet.

    一種是科 學,一種是人文;

  • So, I'm saying the mirror neuron system underlies the interface

    將永不相 見。

  • allowing you to rethink about issues like consciousness,

    而我則認為 鏡像神經元系統將再次引起

  • representation of self,

    一場思潮, 將使你重新思考什麼是意識,

  • what separates you from other human beings,

    什麼代表自 我,

  • what allows you to empathize with other human beings,

    什麼將你于 他人區分開,

  • and also even things like the emergence of culture and civilization,

    什麼使你與 他人產生共鳴,

  • which is unique to human beings. Thank you.

    什麼使文化 與文明產生,

  • (Applause)

    什麼才是人 類所獨有的事物。謝謝。

I'd like to talk to you today about the human brain,

譯者: Wang Qian 審譯者: Liqiu Qiao


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B2 中高級 中文 美國腔 TED 神經元 觸碰 模仿 大腦 發出

【TED】Vilayanur Ramachandran:塑造文明的神經元 (The neurons that shaped civilization | VS Ramachandran) (【TED】Vilayanur Ramachandran: The neurons that shaped civilization (The neurons that shaped civilization | VS Ramachandran))

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