Monkey Sees Action / Neuron Activation
Part of a series on Science Diagrams That Look Like Shitposts. [View Related Entries]
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Neuron Activation, also known as Monkey Sees Action, refers to an abridged scientific diagram illustrating firing of a mirror neutron in a monkey upon observing another monkey eating a banana. Starting in February 2020, the diagram has been used as an exploitable, with the image of the second monkey usually replaced with other imagery.
The exact origin of the diagram is unknown, but is presumed to be a scientific paper about mirror neutrons published prior to 2016. The earliest found repost of the unabridged diagram was made by video game writer Celia Wagar in her blog post "Mind Games via Mirror Neurons." (shown below). In a conversation with Know Your Meme, Wagar revealed that the image had been previously shared by a Twitter user who remarked that it looked like a shitpost, and might had been taken from an unidentified Wikipedia article.
On December 9th, 2019, Funnyjunk user mranldestroyer posted an image of the abridged version of the diagram reused in an unknown textbook. The post received nearly 800 thumbs up in one year (shown below).
The image did not see viral spread until early February 2020, when it gained spread through reposts on Instagram and Twitter. For example, a February 4th, 2020, repost by Instagram user computerpwn received over 1,300 likes in eight months. On February 14th, Instagram meme account boomer.jim posted the earliest found derivative meme based on the image, gaining over 32,400 likes in eight months (shown below, left). On February 15th, 2020, Twitter page Science Diagrams that Look Like Shitposts posted an edited version of the diagram with the Alyonka Chocolate bar item image from Escape From Tarkov edited in (original author unkown; shown below, right). The post received over 3,200 retweets and 21,300 likes in eight months.
On March 24th, 2020, Tumblr user topherchris reposted the diagram, with the post gaining nearly 30,000 likes and reblogs, which significantly prompted the spread of the meme.
Starting in April 2020, the image gained further spread as source material for edits. For example, a meme posted by Twitter user @orangechimps on April 19th, 2020, received 290 retweets and 1,300 likes in six months (shown below, left). An Inugami Korone meme posted by Twitter user @rinsass on May 10th, 2020, received over 570 retweets and 2,000 likes in five months (shown below, right).
The illustration maintained notable popularity in memes through 2020.
 Critpoints – Mind Games via Mirror Neurons
 Instagram – computerpwn
 Instagram – boomer.jim
 Twitter – @scienceshitpost
 Tumblr – topherchris
 Twitter – @orangechimps
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