Learning by observing and imitating others has long been recognized as constituting a powerful learning strategy for humans. Recent findings from neuroscience research, more specifically on the mirror neuron system, begin to provide insight into the neural bases of learning by observation and imitation. These findings are discussed here, along with their potential consequences for the design of instruction, focusing in particular on the effectiveness of dynamic vs. static visualizations.

Cognitive load, Mirror neuron system, Observational learning
dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10648-008-9094-3, hdl.handle.net/1765/18358
Educational Psychology Review
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

van Gog, T.A.J.M, Paas, G.W.C, Marcus, N, Ayres, P, & Sweller, J. (2009). The mirror neuron system and observational learning: Implications for the effectiveness of dynamic visualizations. Educational Psychology Review, 21(1), 21–30. doi:10.1007/s10648-008-9094-3