I have been closely following the news about the invasion of Ukraine with horror, and like so many, have been in awe of President Zelenskyy’s leadership. As an Associate Professor, I oversee a Master's of Leadership program at Golden Gate University and designed most of the courses. Because of my fascination with neuroscience and its application to leadership behavior, I've included that information in many of our courses.
One of the topics that we cover is emotional contagion. We start that discussion by describing mirror neurons. Mirror neurons were discovered quite by accident by Italian researchers. The story goes that they were researching Macaque monkeys. The monkeys' brains responded not only when they picked up food but when they saw a researcher pick up an ice cream cone. The experiment was replicated in humans. Researchers further discovered that the mirror neurons fired even before observing a specific action.