Aping

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To describe the repetition of another’s gestures, expressions or actions there is a saying “aping”. The saying describes – in us humans – well a characteristic that is not always thought of as part or our long evolution.

You may know that the human brain has remained unchanged for at least the last 60,000 years. And this is so despite the fact that the brain has been thought to be a superclastic system.

By studying and comparing humans and chimpanzees, it has been possible to deduce and elucidate the existence of so-called mirror cells ( or neurons ) and a complete mirror system in our brain. Mammals mirror the actions of others in their own brains. This mirroring system allows empathy. It also guides us to behave like others. Think of this: why would you very likely yawn if someone in the room does so first!

The unconscious pattern of behavior is a significant factor in, for example, why the media is filled with similar stimuli. The messages are drowned in to the similarity of each other. Nothing stands out, an environment is born. The situation is the same whether the environment is electronic media or a magazine opening or a movie commercial break. And with this matter, e.g. us communication designers are set to struggle.

The development of communication technology in recent decades has not in any way changed the development process of tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands of years in our brains. At its best, the current flood of communications has only just begun to awaken in our superadaptable brain system the course of development, the consequences of which will only be verified long after us.

But the task is not impossible. It is worth searching for a solution from the same place as the problem itself – the brain. A much longer period of time – perhaps even from the time we didn’t even descend from a tree – inherits another important feature of the brain that can be successfully exploited in communication: the human brain is trained to distinguish deviation from the environment! A rapid movement at the edge of the forest has been a sign of prey or the existence of a threat; a foreign smell brought by the wind as well, etc.

In the human brain, activation occurs in nanoseconds when something is different from the rest of the environment. This could and should be taken advantage of in communication. And here, cutting-edge communication, marketing planning, service design and design are key components.

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Timo Keinänen Explorer, concept designer, strategist and art director.
”I belive that you should be yourself, as all other roles are already taken. If you have the opportunity to express an opinion, express your own.”

Thoughts, posts and opinions represent myself only.