Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. William Charland

Second Advisor

Dr. Christina Chin

Third Advisor

Dr. Andrew Hennlich


Mirror neurons, art education, embodied simulation, embodied responses, emotional contagion

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


In the following thesis, I will introduce the discovery of mirror neurons and explain why understanding mirror neurons is vital for student and teacher interactions as well as student and teacher mental health and engagement in the classroom. Understanding mirror neurons and the connections that teachers have with their students in terms of empathy, observational learning, aesthetic connections when viewing art and empathetic connections in regard to stress and emotional contagion can prove to be very beneficial in art classrooms and can influence the way teachers teach, the relationships that teachers have with their students and the type of classroom environments that can be created. Simply put, “Mirror neurons “mirror” the behavior and emotions of the people surrounding us in such a way that the others become a part of us” (Keysers, 2011, p.10).