Motor mimicry
Motor mimicry is the classical name for a phenomenon that has appeared in the literature for over 250 years. A good example of motor mimicry is when a person winces at someone else’s injury. The person wincing is not hurt, so the wince does not fit his or her own situation. Why, then, does that person wince? We have found that motor mimicry is a social phenomenon; e.g., the wince conveys understanding of the situation of the person in pain. We conducted the first controlled experiments showing that these brief, apparently reflexive, actions are communicative to the other person.