El Cerebro Social

La imitación, como dice el dicho, es la forma más sincera de lizonja, pero parece inclusive ser el corazón de nuestra humanidad. En efecto, la imitación aparenta ser una clave vital para entender el desarrollo humano, desde el comportamiento y el lenguaje hasta la empatía y las habilidades sociales.

En comparación con la mayoría de las otras especies, los seres humanos son tan inmaduros al momento del nacimiento que requieren de un periodo excepcionalmente largo de crianza y protección. Nos pasamos nuestra larga infancia temprana y nuestra niñez adaptándonos al siempre cambiante y altamente complejo medio sociocultural que nos rodea. Esto nos permite interactuar y operar con éxito en nuestro medio ambiente a lo largo de la vida.

Desde el inicio, incluso antes de desarrollar la habilidad para usar el lenguaje hablado, la comunicación no verbal configura drásticamente nuestra personalidad y sentido del ser. Los niños aprenden viendo a los adultos y a otros niños, desarrollando importantes habilidades a través de una continua retroalimentación social. Esta retroalimentación permite la producción y, después, el entendimiento adecuados de las expresiones faciales relacionadas con las emociones que el sujeto mismo no puede ver. Por fortuna para el desarrollo humano, para los niños sanos la imitación es altamente gratificante. Disfrutan tanto de imitar como de ser imitados.

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