All through our childhood we are taught that we are different and special. That each of us is unlike anyone else, why is it then that you fi nd yourself mimicking those around you? Or starting to talk like your best friends? The truth is, even the most idiosyncratic among us are wired to conform. Back in the 1990s, Italian scientists discovered ‘mirror neurons’ copycat neurons that lead us to simulate the actions and emotions of others. Ever seen a yawn spark off an epidemic at a conference — this could be behind it. Numerous studies have shown that we are likely to catch more than just germs from those around us. Here are a few surprising things that you would never guess are contagious.