Mirror neurons

There is a documented phenomenon that when an athlete observes their sport being played, the neural areas of their own brain which control said action are activated. For example, when an amateur basketball player watches a shot being taken on TV, the part of their brain that actually controls moving the body to take the shot is active, even though they are sitting in a chair.

In other primates (and likely humans) these are called mirror neurons, and they are theorized to account for a range of of learning and empathy functions.

This phenomenon may be incredibly important to how editing works, why film is so powerful to people, and the ways in which viewers engage with what's on screen.