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Empathy and Compassion
The latest news about empathy and compassion from around the world - CultureOfEmpathy.com
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Canine compassion helping patients on Nell Gwynne ward

Canine compassion helping patients on Nell Gwynne ward | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Patients on the Nell Gwynne stroke unit are benefiting from therapy of a different kind. Every Wednesday Humphrey, the standard long-haired Dachshund, spends the morning in the day room where patients can visit him for a therapy session.

 

Humphrey belongs to Chelsea and Westminster volunteer Amanda Pitt-Brown, who has been a patient on Nell Gwynne herself. Amanda joined the Pets As Therapy (PAT) charity, who organise animals to visit hospitals, nursing homes and special needs schools, among others.

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Study: Humans can feel empathy for robots

Study: Humans can feel empathy for robots | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Films like Steven Spielberg's A.I. have challenged us to think about the nature of human empathy when applied to a non-living thing such as a humanoid robot. But now a new study indicates that, much like the parents in the aforementioned film, humans can and will form emotional attachments to robots.

 

Using fMRI scans, researchers at the University of Duisburg Essen have discovered that humans do, in fact, have emotional responses to how robots are treated. In the study, 14 participants were shown a video of various interactions with a human, a small robot dinosaur, and an inanimate object. The interactions showed each target being treated in a number of different ways, from violent behavior to affectionate behavior. Based on the fMRI scans, the participants' emotional responses to the treatment of humans closely mirrored their reactions to the good or bad treatment of the robot.

 

Adario Strange 
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Study: Brain Response to Empathy-Eliciting Scenarios Involving Pain in Incarcerated Individuals With PsychopathyBrain Response to Empathy-Eliciting Scenarios

Study: Brain Response to Empathy-Eliciting Scenarios Involving Pain in Incarcerated Individuals With PsychopathyBrain Response to Empathy-Eliciting Scenarios | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Jean Decety, PhD; Laurie R. Skelly, PhD; Kent A. Kiehl, PhD


Importance  A marked lack of empathy is a hallmark characteristic of individuals with psychopathy. However, neural processes associated with empathic processing have not yet been directly examined in psychopathy, especially in response to the perception of other people in pain and distress.

 

Objective  To identify potential differences in patterns of neural activity in incarcerated individuals with psychopathy and incarcerated persons serving as controls during the perception of empathy-eliciting stimuli depicting other people experiencing pain.

 

Design  In a case-control study, brain activation patterns elicited by dynamic stimuli depicting individuals being harmed and facial expressions of pain were compared between incarcerated individuals with psychopathy and incarcerated controls.

 

Setting  Participants were scanned on the grounds of a correctional facility using the Mind Research Network's mobile 1.5-T magnetic resonance imaging system.


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Tell Me Psychopath, Whats on Your Mind? - Emotional Health Center - Everyday Health

Tell Me Psychopath, Whats on Your Mind? - Emotional Health Center - Everyday Health | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

New research suggests that brain physiology might account for psychopaths lack of empathy.

 

 Psychiatrists, criminologists, and tabloid readers have all struggled to understand what goes on in the minds of psychopaths such as Jeffrey Dahmer and Ted Bundy.  A study published today in JAMA Psychiatry puts the blame on the brain, specifically, a neurological absence of empathy in psychopaths.

 

Researchers at the University of Chicago and the University of New Mexico recruited 80 male prisoners between the ages of 18 and 50 who were incarcerated for murder in a North American correctional facility. They tested the men to find out which ones could be classifeied as psychopaths.

 

By Brett Spiegel, Everyday Health Staff Writer

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Psychopaths’ Brain Patterns Lack Means for Empathy, Reveals Neuroimaging Study

Psychopaths’ Brain Patterns Lack Means for Empathy, Reveals Neuroimaging Study | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
New functional brain scan research on psychopathy reveals strikingly distinct patterns of activation among psychopathic prisoners in response to seeing other people in painful situations, suggesting a neural basis for their lack of empathy.

 

A lack of empathy is a signature trait of psychopaths— fascinating in fiction, inexplicable in reality. Now, a new study on psychopathic prisoners reveals strikingly different brain patterns that may limit their ability to emotionally respond to other people's pain.


"This is the first time that neural processes associated with empathic processing have been directly examined in individuals with psychopathy, especially in response to the perception of other people in pain or distress," said lead researcher Jean Decety, a psychology professor at the University of Chicago, in a news release.


BY ASHIK SIDDIQUE


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Inside Twisted Terrorist Minds — Where Is the Empathy?

Inside Twisted Terrorist Minds — Where Is the Empathy? | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Terrorists work hard to convince themselves their actions are righteous.

 

Even though a human (or humans) caused the carnage at the finish line, such acts of kindness, as well as a sense of empathy, are actually hard to overcome — even for the terrorists, psychologists say.

 

"A whole industry of propaganda is aimed" at convincing potential terrorists that their intended victims are worthy of death, said Arie Kruglanski, a psychologist at the University of Maryland who has researched the roots of terrorism. [History of Human Aggression: 10 Ways Combat Has Evolved]

 

Stephanie Pappas

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Study: Robot Abuse Switches On Human Empathy | TechNewsWorld

Study: Robot Abuse Switches On Human Empathy | TechNewsWorld | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
People feel uncomfortable when they see robots tortured, according to a new study from researchers at the University of Duisburg Essen in Germany.

 

This may explain why characters like R2-D2 and Wall-E have their own action figures and plush toys. University researchers found that images of robots being abused or tortured generated sympathetic feelings in a test group of humans. It may sound frivolous, but empathy research can help the field of robotics with how they program intelligent machines to work with people in a variety of situations.


By Richard Adhikari

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Judgment Day looms: Researchers prove that humans feel empathy for robots

Judgment Day looms: Researchers prove that humans feel empathy for robots | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Good news, prospective robot overlords: Researchers in Germany have proven that humans do indeed feel empathy for robots. This empathy exists for robots irrespective of their form — a dinosaur-shaped robot and humanoid robot both elicited the same empathetic response.

 

This finding comes from two separate studies carried out by the University of Duisburg Essen in Germany. The first study asked 40 participants to watch a video where a small dinosaur-shaped robot was either treated violently or affectionately. Their physiological arousal (heart rate, pupil dilation, perspiration) was measured while they watched the video, and they were asked for their emotional state after watching the videos. When the dinobot was treated violently, the participants felt worse and showed more physiological arousal.

 
By Sebastian Anthony

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Humans feel empathy for robots: fMRI scans show similar brain function when robots are treated the same as humans

Humans feel empathy for robots: fMRI scans show similar brain function when robots are treated the same as humans | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
From the T-101 to Data from Star Trek, humans have been presented with the fictional dilemma of how we empathize with robots.

 

The second study conducted in collaboration with the Erwin L. Hahn Institute for Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Essen, used functional magnetic-resonance imaging (fMRI), to investigate potential brain correlations of human-robot interaction in contrast to human-human interaction. The 14 participants were presented videos showing a human, a robot and an inanimate object, again being treated in either an affectionate or in a violent way. Affectionate interaction towards both, the robot and the human, resulted in similar neural activation patterns in classic limbic structures, indicating that they elicit similar emotional reactions. However, when comparing only the videos showing abusive behavior differences in neural activity suggested that participants show more negative empathetic concern for the human in the abuse condition.

 

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Humans have empathy for robots, says study - SlashGear

Humans have empathy for robots, says study - SlashGear | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

When a human sees the plight of another, we're capable of empathy, and it is a powerful thing. Many science fiction movies and books have asked whether humans

 

One of the scientists, Rosenthal-von der Putten, discussed the eventual goal of developing companion robots that a human would form a relationship with, aiding individuals who need it with assistance and, for example, offering more independence to the elderly. Understanding how humans react emotionally to robots is essential to this goal.

 

He said, “A common problem is that a new technology is exciting at the beginning, but this effect wears off especially when it comes to tasks like boring and repetitive exercise in rehabilitation. The development and implementation of uniquely humanlike abilities in robots like theory of mind, emotion and empathy is considered to have the potential to solve this dilemma.”

 

Brittany Hillen

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Humans Experience Empathy For Our Robotic Companions - Technology News

Humans Experience Empathy For Our Robotic Companions - Technology News | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
Two separate studies have recently demonstrated that humans can, in fact, empathize with their robotic counterparts.

 

Although some theorize that they could one day take over the world, one group of scientists was curious about whether humans are capable of feeling empathy for our electronic companions. The team will be presenting their findings at the 63rd Annual International Communication Association (ICA) conference in London.

 

During the study, 40 participants watched videos of a small dinosaur-shaped robot that was treated in either an affectionate or a violent manner while the researchers measured their level of physiological arousal. They also asked the participants about their emotional state directly after the videos. The team reported that participants said they felt more negative watching the robot being abused and showed higher physiological arousal during the negative video.

 

by Lee Rannals

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Humans feel empathy for robots

Humans feel empathy for robots | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

From the T-101 to Data from Star Trek, humans have been presented with the fictional dilemma of how we empathise with robots. Robots now infiltrate our lives, but how do we really feel about these non-sentient objects on a human level?

 

A recent study by researchers at the University of Duisburg Essen in Germany found that humans have similar brain function when shown images of affection and violence being inflicted on robots and humans...

 

A common problem is that a new technology is exciting at the beginning, but this effect wears off especially when it comes to tasks like boring and repetitive exercise in rehabilitation. The development and implementation of uniquely humanlike abilities in robots like theory of mind, emotion and empathy is considered to have the potential to solve this dilemma.

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The Hidden Dangers of Judging People by Their Weight: doctors act less empathetic toward obese and overweight patients

The Hidden Dangers of Judging People by Their Weight: doctors act less empathetic toward obese and overweight patients | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Recent research suggests even doctors are biased against overweight and obese people. These prejudices can have dangerous consequences, here's why we need to start talking about weight stigma in a better way.

 

News outlets across the globe have jumped to cover a study that found doctors act less empathetic toward obese and overweight patients than they do toward patients who are not overweight or obese. According to the findings, doctors weren’t any less likely to provide medical advice to overweight and obese patients, but they were less likely to develop emotional rapport. Researchers say that’s possibly because doctors hold negative views of overweight and obese people, or have less respect for them.


by Shana Lebowitz
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Is this proof evil killers are born not made? Psychopaths' brains 'lack basic wiring that triggers empathy and compassion'

Is this proof evil killers are born not made? Psychopaths' brains 'lack basic wiring that triggers empathy and compassion' | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Psychopathic individuals like the one famously portrayed by Sir Anthony Hopkins in the Hannibal Lecter films display different brain activity as they observe other people in pain, US scientists say.

* Psychopathy affects around 20 to 30% of U.S. prison population 
* This compares with just 1% of the general U.S. population* Prisoners shown video footage of people being intentionally hurt
* MRI scans revealed distinct differences in brains' responses

...Psychopaths displayed significantly less activity in key areas of the brain including the amygdala - an almond-shaped bundle of neurons which plays an important role in processing emotions like fear, anger and pleasure.

.. Empathy: Scientists observed reduced activity in key areas of the brain when psychopathic individuals were shown videos of people being hurt

 By KERRY MCDERMOTT

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Futurity.org – Psychopaths not wired for empathy

Futurity.org – Psychopaths not wired for empathy | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Psychopaths show less activity in areas of the brain linked to empathy when they view images of people in distress, a study shows.


This is the first time that neural processes associated with empathic processing have been directly examined in individuals with psychopathy, especially in response to the perception of other people in pain or distress." says Jean Decety, professor in psychology and psychiatry at the University of Chicago.


Source: University of Chicago

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Do You Empathize with Tortured Robots?

Do You Empathize with Tortured Robots? | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Given our current understanding of how mirror neurons and human emotion works, a new study from the University of Duisburg Essen should come as no surprise. Astrid Rosenthal-von der Pütten and other researchers used fMRI to measure the reaction in human test subjects who watched video of a Pleo robot being either tortured or treated with affection. They also watched video of a fellow human treated either badly or affectionately.


The test subjects exhibited similar reactions to the treatment of both the robot and the human, with only the intensity of their emotion varying. The bigger question, it seems to me, is whether we understand emotion and empathy well enough to add those qualities to our robots, so they'll feel empathy toward us as well.

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Health News - Psychopaths are not neurally equipped to have concern for others

Health News - Psychopaths are not neurally equipped to have concern for others | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
Psychopaths are not neurally equipped to have concern for others

 

A study of 80 prisoners used functional MRI technology to determine their responses to a series of scenarios depicting intentional harm or faces expressing pain. It found that psychopaths showed less activity in areas of the brain linked to empathy.

 

“A marked lack of empathy is a hallmark characteristic of individuals with psychopathy,” said the lead author of the study, Jean Decety, the Irving B. Harris Professor in Psychology and Psychiatry at UChicago. Psychopathy affects approximately 1 percent of the United States general population and 20 percent to 30 percent of the male and female U.S. prison population. Relative to non-psychopathic criminals, psychopaths are responsible for a disproportionate amount of repetitive crime and violence in society.

 

By William Harms

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Psychopaths' Brains Aren't Wired To Show Empathy, Study Finds

Psychopaths' Brains Aren't Wired To Show Empathy, Study Finds | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Psychopaths are unable to show empathy toward others because their brains aren't wired to do so, according to a new study in JAMA Psychiatry.

http://archpsyc.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1681369


Researchers from the University of Chicago used brain imaging technology to find that psychopaths have less activation in certain parts of the brain and high activation in other parts of the brain, compared with people who are not psychopaths, in response to scenarios of people being purposely hurt.

Scientific American provides a good definition of a psychopath: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=what-psychopath-means

 

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Empathy for Robots Looks Very Similar to the Empathy We Feel for Humans

Empathy for Robots Looks Very Similar to the Empathy We Feel for Humans | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Robots may not have the capacity to care about us  yet, but that won’t stop humans from feeling unrequited love for their android buddies. While it may seem obvious to those of us who have harbored a mad Data crush at one point or another, a new study seems to confirm that humans harbor a great deal of empathy for their robotic brethren, reacting to affection towards — or violence against — them in the same way they react to these things in humans.


The paper, scheduled to be presented this summer at the 63rd Annual International Communication Association Conference, combines the results of two small studies. In one, participants were shown video of a small, dinosaur-inspired robot being either shown affection or abused, and given a survey about their emotional frame of mind immediately afterwards. In the next, participants were monitored with an fMRI machine that took stock of their brain activity while watching videos of humans, robots, and inanimate objects being treated affectionately, as well as abused.

 

By Ian Chant

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Study: People Empathize With Robots

Study: People Empathize With Robots | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Participants in a German study did not react well to videos depicting robot torture.

 

METHODOLOGY: At the University of Duisburg-Essen, in Germany, researchers made short films depicting robot-human interaction. Half showed a faceless person making nice to a dinosaur robot, the other half depicted scenes of robot torture, in which it was choked, beaten up, sealed in a plastic bag, and dropped. They then showed the videos to 40 subjects and measured their emotional reactions using a skin conductance monitor.


Investigation on Empathy Towards Humans and Robots Using Psychophysiological Measures and fMRI" will be presented at the 63rd Annual International Communication Association Conference.

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Neuroscience Explores Why Humans Feel Empathy for Robots - Smithsonian

Neuroscience Explores Why Humans Feel Empathy for Robots - Smithsonian | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Brain scans show that the neurological patterns linked with pangs of empathy for humans also occur when we see a robot treated harshly

 

If, while watching WALL-E, your heart broke just a little bit when you saw the title character desperately travel across outer space in search of true love, it doesn’t mean you’re crazy. Sure, WALL-E is a robot. But its cute, anthropomorphized look and all too human desire to end its loneliness made us subconsciously forget that it is not human.

 

The ability to forget that key point wasn’t just a matter of clever storytelling. New research shows that, at least in a small sample of people tested, the same neural patterns that occur when we feel empathy for a human onscreen are present in our brains when we see a robot onscreen.



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Jacob Rabe's curator insight, May 3, 2013 12:36 PM

It is not surprising to me that this is the case. A human can feel empathy for just about anything. Many people feel empathy for nature, and some would call them tree huggers. The point is when you familiarize yourself with anything well enough, you will become attached, even when it is a robot. 

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Humans feel empathy for robots: fMRI scans show similar brain function when robots are treated the same as humans

Humans feel empathy for robots: fMRI scans show similar brain function when robots are treated the same as humans | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

How do we really feel about non-sentient objects on a human level? A recent study found that humans have similar brain function when shown images of affection and violence being inflicted on robots and humans..

 

"One goal of current robotics research is to develop robotic companions that establish a long-term relationship with a human user, because robot companions can be useful and beneficial tools. They could assist elderly people in daily tasks and enable them to live longer autonomously in their homes, help disabled people in their environments, or keep patients engaged during the rehabilitation process," said Rosenthal-von der Pütten. "A common problem is that a new technology is exciting at the beginning, but this effect wears off especially when it comes to tasks like boring and repetitive exercise in rehabilitation. The development and implementation of uniquely humanlike abilities in robots like theory of mind, emotion and empathy is considered to have the potential to solve this dilemma."

 

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Humans often feel empathy for robots, study finds

Humans often feel empathy for robots, study finds | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
Robot empathy? Scientists at the University of Duisburg Essen say participants in two studies registered similar emotional reactions when they witnessed humans and robots being treated poorly.

 

Ever watch your Roomba robot vacuum cleaner make the rounds in the living room while you watch Netflix and eat chocolate and feel a little sorry that it has to clean up after you and your three cats? No?

But if you did feel badly it wouldn’t be that strange, researchers in Germany say, after they determined humans can feel empathy for robots in the same way they might for their fellow homo sapiens.

 

Scientists at the University of Duisburg Essen say participants in two studies registered similar emotional reactions when they witnessed humans and robots being treated poorly.



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Brain Scans Reveal That Humans Definitely Feel Empathy For Robots

Brain Scans Reveal That Humans Definitely Feel Empathy For Robots | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

While creating an empathetic robot is a long-held dream, understandingwhether humans genuinely empathise with robots should — in theory — be easier. Now, a team of scientists have analysed fMRI brain scans to reveal that humans have similar brain function when shown affection and violence being inflicted on both humans and robots.

 

The experiments, conducted at the University of Duisburg, Essen, had 40 participants sit and watch videos of a small dinosaur-shaped robot. It was either treated in an affectionate or violent way, and then researchers measured physiological arousal — finding overwhelmingly strong reaction to the scenes of violence. A second study used functional magnetic-resonance imaging, and shows that affectionate interaction towards both robots and humans resulted in similar neural activation patterns in the brain.

 

by JAMIE CONDLIFFE


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Can You Feel Empathy for a Robot?

Can You Feel Empathy for a Robot? | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
Researchers try to capture bond between humans, mechanical companions

 

Researchers say people's empathy for robots can be similar to what they feel for other humans.

 

Functional MRI scans showed that volunteers had similar brain function when they saw images of people or robots receiving affection or being subjected to violence, according to a study scheduled for presentation in June at the International Communication Association's annual conference in London.

 

"One goal of current robotics research is to develop robotic companions that establish a long-term relationship with a human user, because robot companions can be useful and beneficial tools," study co-author Astrid Rosenthal-von der Putten, of the University of Duisburg Essen in Germany, said in an association news release.

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