In 1996 neuroscientist Giacomo Rizzolatti and his co-workers at the University of Parma in Italy published some remarkable findings. They had run an experiment to record electrical activity from neurons specialized for hand movement in two pigtail macaques. As anticipated, these neurons fired when the animals reached for peanuts placed in front of them. What was entirely unexpected, however, was that these same neurons fired when a scientist in the lab reached for the nuts instead. The monkey remained stationary. Nevertheless, watching the scientist move had activated motor areas in the macaques brain, just as if the animal had carried out the action itself.