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Empathy and Compassion
The latest news about empathy and compassion from around the world - CultureOfEmpathy.com
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When Mindfulness Meets Compassion: Close Encounters in Contemplative Science

When Mindfulness Meets Compassion: Close Encounters in Contemplative Science | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

At the world's first International Symposia on Contemplative Studies held this April in Denver, it seemed as if the emerging field of meditation research had finally come of age. The gathering brought together research pioneers Jon Kabat-Zinn, Richie Davidson, John Teasdale and Marsha Linehan with groundbreaking contemplative teachers Sharon Salzberg, Roshi Joan Halifax, Matthieu Ricard and Brother David Stendl-Rast.

 

In fact, as the nearly 750 participants convened for what could have been just one more hi-tech conference, the event felt not just historic but oddly unearthly, like a real-world version of Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

 

Joe Loizzo, M.D., Ph.D.

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Empathy - Wiki Spoken Article

Empathy is the capacity to recognize feelings that are being experienced by another sentient or semi-sentient (in fiction writing) being. Someone may need to have a certain amount of empathy before t...
Empathy - Wiki Article - http://wikiplays.org
Original @ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empathy

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Alcoholic men demonstrate a deficit in empathy and distorted view of irony | Science Codex

Alcoholic men demonstrate a deficit in empathy and distorted view of irony | Science Codex | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Emotions are often implicit undertones to our communication interactions, and decoding them requires substantial social and cognitive abilities. Prior research has shown that chronic alcoholics often demonstrate impaired socio-cognitive and communicative abilities as well as emotion-related behaviors. Male alcoholics in particular suffer from dysfunctions in empathy. A study of the ability of chronic male alcoholics to recognize the emotional component of irony in relation to their empathic abilities has found a clear deficit.

 

Results will be published in the February 2013 issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research and are currently available at Early View.

 

 

img http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whisky

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Alcoholism Linked to Poor Sense of Empathy, Irony in Men

Alcoholism Linked to Poor Sense of Empathy, Irony in Men | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Alcoholic men tend to lack empathy and have a distorted view of irony, which suggests that they may have difficulty understanding complex forms of communication, according to a small new study.

 

Empathy is the ability to understand another person's feelings, and irony is a communication technique that uses words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of the literal meaning, for example, saying "What a beautiful view" when looking out the window at a brick wall.

 

img wiki http://j.mp/SUm64G

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Study: Anterior insular cortex is necessary for empathetic pain perception.

Study: Anterior insular cortex is necessary for empathetic pain perception. | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Empathy refers to the ability to perceive and share another person's affective state. Much neuroimaging evidence suggests that observing others' suffering and pain elicits activations of the anterior insular and the anterior cingulate cortices associated with subjective empathetic responses in the observer. However, these observations do not provide causal evidence for the respective roles of anterior insular and anterior cingulate cortices in empathetic pain. Therefore, whether these regions are 'necessary' for empathetic pain remains unknown. Herein, we examined the perception of others' pain in patients with anterior insular cortex or anterior cingulate cortex lesions whose locations matched with the anterior insular cortex or anterior cingulate cortex clusters identified by a meta-analysis on neuroimaging studies of empathetic pain perception

 

Gu X, Gao Z, Wang X, Liu X, Knight RT, Hof PR, Fan J.

 

img http://bit.ly/yYTzGr

 

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Area of the brain that processes empathy identified - ScienceDaily

Area of the brain that processes empathy identified - ScienceDaily | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

An international team led by researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York has for the first time shown that one area of the brain, called the anterior insular cortex, is the activity center of human empathy, whereas other areas of the brain are not. The study is published in the September 2012 issue of the journal Brain.

 

Empathy, the ability to perceive and share another person's emotional state, has been described by philosophers and psychologists for centuries.. This most recent study, however, firmly establishes that the anterior insular cortex is where the feeling of empathy originates.

 

 Gu X, Gao Z, Wang X, Liu X, Knight RT, Hof PR, Fan J.

img http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain ;

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Compassion: The Best Kept Secret to Happiness by Emma M. Seppala, Ph.D.

Compassion: The Best Kept Secret to Happiness by Emma M. Seppala, Ph.D. | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

How compassion is the best kept secret to being happy, healthy, wealthy and wise...

Compassion Makes You Happy

A brain-imaging study headed by neuroscientist Jordan Grafman from the National Institute of Health showed that the "pleasures centers" in the brain, i.e. the parts of our brains that are active when we experience pleasure (like dessert, money, sex) are equally active when we observe someone giving money to charity as when we receive money ourselves! Giving to others even increases well-being above and beyond spending money on ourselves. In a revealing experiment published in Science by Harvard Business School professor Michael Norton, participants received a sum of money...  At the end of the study, participants that had spent money on others felt significantly happier than those that had spent money on themselves.

 

by Emma M. Seppala, Ph.D.

 

Culture of Empathy Builder Page: Emma Malcolm Seppala
http://cultureofempathy.com/References/Experts/Others/Emma-Seppala.htm


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Persuasive Litigator: Know the Limits of Political Empathy

Persuasive Litigator: Know the Limits of Political Empathy | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Empathy Across the Aisles: The Research

One very basic way to measure empathy is to start with the human tendency to apply our own visceral states to others: If we are thirsty, we are more sensitive to another's thirst. Same for heat, cold, and other forms of comfort. But based on O'Brien and Ellsworth's work, there are some important differences in who benefits from these projections. The pair showed that participants avoid applying their own visceral states to the evaluation of others who are described as hailing from the opposite end of the political spectrum.

 

 

In two studies focusing on cold and thirst, the University of Michigan researchers found that research participants followed the well-documented pattern of applying their own cold or thirst to the evaluation of others, but not when those others were represented as having opposing political views. That indicates that we’re less likely to extend basic empathy to those who are different, not just in demographic or observable terms, but different in beliefs as well. “All else being equal,” the authors conclude, “knowledge of another person’s politics should not influence how cold or thirsty one thinks he or she is, but it does.”

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What’s So Special about Mirror Neurons? | Scientific American Blog Network

What’s So Special about Mirror Neurons? | Scientific American Blog Network | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
In the early 1990s, a team of neuroscientists at the University of Parma made a surprising discovery: Certain groups of neurons in the brains of macaque monkeys fired not only when a monkey performed an action – grabbing an apple out of a box, for instance – but also when the monkey watched someone else performing that action; and even when the monkey heard someone performing the action in another room.

 

In short, even though these “mirror neurons” were part of the brain’s motor system, they seemed to be correlated not with specific movements, but with specific goals.

 

By Ben Thomas 

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Anthony Jack and Edwin Rutsch: Dialogs on How to Build a Culture of Empathy with Science

Anthony Jack and Edwin Rutsch: Dialogs on How to Build a Culture of Empathy with Science | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Anthony Jack, PhD (Tony) is Assistant Professor of Cognitive Science, Philosophy, and Psychology in the Brain, Mind and Consciousness laboratory in the Department of Cognitive Science at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio.

 

Tony has been studying empathy and was involved in a study that looks at the analytic and empathic neural networks and how they relate to each other. This article 'Empathy represses analytic thought, and vice versa' on Science Blog says, "When the brain fires up the network of neurons that allows us to empathize, it suppresses the network used for analysis, a pivotal study led by a Case Western Reserve University researcher shows... At rest, our brains cycle between the social and analytical networks. But when presented with a task, healthy adults engage the appropriate neural pathway, the researchers found. The study shows for the first time that we have a built-in neural constraint on our ability to be both empathetic and analytic at the same time."
Sub Conference: Science: Neuroscience

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Study: Empathy represses analytic thought, and vice versa | ScienceBlog.com

Study: Empathy represses analytic thought, and vice versa | ScienceBlog.com | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

When the brain fires up the network of neurons that allows us to empathize, it suppresses the network used for analysis, a pivotal study led by a Case Western Reserve University researcher shows.
How could a CEO be so blind to te public relations fiasco his cost-cutting decision has made?


When the analytic network is engaged, our ability to appreciate the human cost of our action is repressed....

 

This is the cognitive structure we’ve evolved,” said Anthony Jack, an assistant professor of cognitive science at Case Western Reserve and lead author of the new study. “Empathetic and analytic thinking are, at least to some extent, mutually exclusive in the brain.”

 

 

img http://bit.ly/yYTzGr

Anthony I. Jack 

http://case.edu/artsci/cogs/faculty/jack.html ;

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Empathy Hurdles - It's so much easier to analyze someone's shoes than to walk in them...

Empathy Hurdles - It's so much easier to analyze someone's shoes than to walk in them... | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

 

the profound and slippery distinction between empathy and analysis. However compassionate our analysis might be, it remains external. We see from the outside. If we explain another’s behavior through knowing or imagining their personal history, or we do so by imagining what human needs could lead to the behavior we struggle to understand, we maintain some distance from their own lived experience. We don’t fill in the gap between the history and the present, or between the need and the particular choice of strategy to meet that need..,

 

I want to hear others through the lens of the meaning their actions have for them rather than through the effect their actions have on me. The very root of empathy resides in this fundamental shift. Whenever someone’s actions are at odds with our own needs, most of us, most of the time, do the latter. In that way, we keep our attention on ourselves rather than on the other person. We cannot be in empathy when we are focused on how things affect us.

 

by Miki Kashtan, 

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Greater Good Science Center: Compassion Page

Greater Good Science Center: Compassion Page | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

What Is Compassion?

 

Why Practice Compassion?

 

How to Cultivate Compassion?

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6 Ways to Deepen Your Compassion to Help Other People | Tiny Buddha

6 Ways to Deepen Your Compassion to Help Other People | Tiny Buddha | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

True compassion is hard work, but it’s worthwhile. As Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.”\

In trying to help him, I too was changed for the better.

Among the many things I tried as part of the process, some worked. Here are the top six that have stood the test of time.

1. Listen.

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Signup to Join an Online Empathy Circle (Wait-List) | Facebook

Signup to Join an Online Empathy Circle (Wait-List) | Facebook | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

We are creating a 'Waiting List' for joining new weekly Empathy Circles. Our Empathy Circle meetings are filled at the moment, but we will slowly be expanding them. Sign up now by clicking the [Join] button above and we will contact you as new circles form and spaces are available.

 

More About the Empathy Circles
Where: Online using Google Hangouts.
When: Committed Weekly or Drop-in Weekly
Length: 1 hr. 30. min to 2 hours
* No cost
* Four to five people to circle
* Circles are recorded and saved on YouTube

 

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" when a person realizes he has been deeply heard, his eyes moisten. I think in some real sense he is weeping for joy. It is as though he were saying, "Thank God, somebody heard me. Someone knows what it's like to be me." Carl Rogers
=========================================

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Start Empathy: How Nurturing Babies Cultivates Empathy

Start Empathy: How Nurturing Babies Cultivates Empathy | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Sue Gerhardt, author of 'Why Love Matters', illustrates the important connection between nurturing infants and the development of empathy.

 

Why do you think empathy is important for children to develop?
 

Empathy is one of our highest human skills and holds families and societies together. Feeling connected to other people is probably the deepest satisfaction we will ever know. How terrible for children who are being brought up without that capacity – and how risky for the future of the planet. I talk about some of these bigger issues in my book The Selfish Society: How We Forgot to Love Each Other and Made Money Instead (Simon and Schuster 2010).

 

At what point do you think children who have been nurtured at a

young age are able to behave with a spirit of empathy?

 

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Empathy is the best medicine, says new study - - ModernMedicine

Empathy is the best medicine, says new study - - ModernMedicine | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Patients of empathetic physicians have better outcomes and fewer complications, according to a new study conducted by a team at Thomas Jefferson University and researchers in Italy.

The study, a larger-scale version of one conducted in 2011, found that diabetic patients of more empathetic physicians suffered fewer acute metabolic complications.

 

Compared to the 2011 study, which measured physician empathy by the hemoglobin A1c test and cholesterol levels, the new study measured how physician empathy impacted acute metabolic complications because they require hospitalization and can develop quickly. Additionally, the prevention of acute metabolic complications is more likely to be influenced by primary care physicians, according to researchers at Thomas Jefferson University.

 

img  http://bit.ly/dP1O76

 


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How restorative justice and empathy have been cultivated at E.L. Haynes Elementary

How restorative justice and empathy have been cultivated at E.L. Haynes Elementary | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

So far, the school’s work in empathy cultivation and restorative justice has proven successful. According to Molitor, the school has seen a dramatic positive shift in student behavior since the implementation of the restorative justice program, and they continue to reduce the amount of time that students spend out of class monthly.

 

As of last year, E. L. Haynes has almost completely stopped suspending students. Indeed, E. L. Haynes is well on its way to helping its families realize their hopes and dreams, especially the dreams for students to “love the world” and have “an exciting path to the future.”

 

By Laura White

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NARSAD Grant-Funded Research Identifies Where Empathy Originates in the Brain

NARSAD Grant-Funded Research Identifies Where Empathy Originates in the Brain | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Jin Fan, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychiatry at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, used his NARSAD Young Investigator Grant to help identify where human empathy is centered in the brain: the area known as the anterior insular cortex. The research involved an international team and showed for the first time that this one area of the brain is the activity center of human

 

 

Area of the Brain That Processes Empathy Identified

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121024175240.htm

 

Gu X, Gao Z, Wang X, Liu X, Knight RT, Hof PR, Fan J.

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Why are yawns contagious?

Why are yawns contagious? | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

While scientists don't have all the answers there are some theories - including that empathy may play a key role.

 

"We tend to copy or mimic the yawns of people who are familiar to us rather than random people. We think it has something to do with empathy. If we know someone, if we've got a good social connection to them, we're more likely to feel empathy for them so we're more likely to feel upset when they're upset, feel happy when they're happy and also to perhaps yawn when they yawn."

 

Further strengthening the empathy argument is the fact that children don't start contagious yawning until they're four or five years old (which Dr Hudry said would coincide with when they start to feel empathy) and studies of autistic children have found they don't succumb to contagious yawning as much as other children.

 

by bronwen wade

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Hoarding and Empathy

Hoarding and Empathy | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

A recent conference presentation suggests that the extreme emotional attachment of a hoarder to their stuff could stem from an excess of empathy—particularly affective empathy as measured by their response to others’ distress. Collecting and saving are normal, useful and evolutionarily adaptive human traits, buffering against hard times and building up trading stock. Children start collecting as soon as they can gather a few rocks and twigs. But you can definitely have too much of this good thing.

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Empathy Movement: Empathy Circle Videos

Empathy Movement: Empathy Circle Videos | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Latest's Weekly Empathy Circles

Circle 2 (2012-10-27)
Circle 6 (2012-10-26) new group forming
Circle 7 (2012-10-24) new group forming
Circle 2 (2012-10-20) be the circle user guide role playing
Circle 2 (2012-10-13)
Circle 5 (2012-10-04)
Circle 1 (2012-09-29)
Circle 3 (2012-09-03)

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STUDY: NeuroImage - fMRI reveals reciprocal inhibition between social and physical cognitive domains

STUDY: NeuroImage - fMRI reveals reciprocal inhibition between social and physical cognitive domains | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Two lines of evidence indicate that there exists a reciprocal inhibitory relationship between opposed brain networks. First, most attention-demanding cognitive tasks activate a stereotypical set of brain areas, known as the task-positive network and simultaneously deactivate a different set of brain regions, commonly referred to as the task negative or default mode network. Second, functional connectivity analyses show that these same opposed networks are anti-correlated in the resting state. We hypothesize that these reciprocally inhibitory effects reflect two incompatible cognitive modes, each of which is directed towards understanding the external world. Thus, engaging one mode activates one set of regions and suppresses activity in the other

 

Anthony I. Jack
Abigail Dawson
Katelyn Begany
Regina L. Leckie
Kevin Barry
Angela Cicciab,
Abraham Snyderc

 

Department of Cognitive Science, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio

Department of Psychological Sciences, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio

Department of Radiology, Washington University in St Louis Medical School, St Louis, Missouri

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In the Brain, Empathy and Analysis May Be Mutually Exclusive - Psych Central News

In the Brain, Empathy and Analysis May Be Mutually Exclusive   - Psych Central News | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Functional magnetic imaging has allowed researchers to view the brain as it struggles to multi-task empathetic feelings and analytical thoughts.

 

An individual’s moral compass can be compromised when a person becomes stuck in the analytical cycle. However, the opposite can happen as well with an individual presenting a proclivity for empathy without an ability to perform analytical decision-making.

 

In the study, Case Western Reserve University researchers found that when the brain activates neurons to allow us to empathize, it suppresses the brain network used for analysis. On the flip side, when the brain activates neurons to allow analytical thought processes, empathic pathways are subdued.

 

This finding may help to explain decisions that on second glance seem illogical and/or insensitive.

 

By RICK NAUERT PHD Senior News Editor

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Empathy represses analytic thought, and vice versa: Brain physiology limits simultaneous use of both networks

Empathy represses analytic thought, and vice versa: Brain physiology limits simultaneous use of both networks | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

When the brain's analytic network is engaged, our ability to appreciate the human cost of our action is repressed, researchers have found.

 

New research shows a simple reason why even the most intelligent, complex brains can be taken by a swindler's story -- one that upon a second look offers clues it was false

 

When the brain fires up the network of neurons that allows us to empathize, it suppresses the network used for analysis, a pivotal study led by a Case Western Reserve University researcher shows.

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