Social Affective Neuroscience
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How Things Work: Neuroscience studies explain why humans experience empathy

How Things Work: Neuroscience studies explain why humans experience empathy | Social Affective Neuroscience | Scoop.it

By understanding the neurological basis for empathy, better interventions can be constructed to treat patients who suffer from psychopathy.

 

Studies have shown that almost a quarter of prison populations are psychopathic, compared to only one percent of the general population. Improved treatments and understanding could help bring down crime and violence.

 

Our understanding of the brain and its functions are very primitive, but much has been learned about the unique complexity that allows our brain to experience our own lives as well as the lives of those around us.

 

Raghunandan Avula


Via Edwin Rutsch
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At the Source: Finding Bliss in the Brain

At the Source: Finding Bliss in the Brain | Social Affective Neuroscience | Scoop.it
Buddhists call it Nirvana. Literally translated to “blowing out,” it refers
to the extinction of desire, aversion and delusion. Characterized by
blissful egolessness 1, this particular state of mind (or rather,
without-mind) has been obscure ever since a certain Siddhārtha Gautama
attained it 2,500 years ago. Thankfully, there are people who experience
this state effortlessly when misfiring in their brain gives rise to
ecstatic seizures. Facilitated by neuroscience we can finally glimpse what
being enlightened might look like. 
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Awake: The disturbed brain

Awake: The disturbed brain | Social Affective Neuroscience | Scoop.it
How did you feel when you woke up today? Did you get up slowly, felt
refreshed and had enough time to eat breakfast and plan your day? Or did
you throw your alarm against the wall, curse at everything in your path
until you felt alive enough to make a cup of coffee? If you are like the 1
in 5 Americans that get less than 6 hours of sleep, you might have trouble
remembering simple things, be ill-prepared to deal with everyday stressors
and be on edge - leading to unnecessary arguments with friends and family. 
Although the exact function of sleep is still unknown, lack thereof has
been studied extensively.  The results are striking - memory encoding
problems, emotional disturbances and trouble adjusting to stressful
situations are all linked to sleep deprivation. So what happens to us when
we don't sleep?
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Watch "The Social Brain And Its Superpowers : Matthew Lieberman, Ph.D. at TEDxStLouis" Video at TEDxTalks

Watch "The Social Brain And Its Superpowers : Matthew Lieberman, Ph.D. at TEDxStLouis" Video at TEDxTalks | Social Affective Neuroscience | Scoop.it
Neuroscientist Matthew Lieberman explains that through his studies he's learned that our kryptonite is ignoring the importance of our social superpowers and ...

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Brain circuits involved in emotion discovered by neuroscientists

Brain circuits involved in emotion discovered by neuroscientists | Social Affective Neuroscience | Scoop.it
A brain pathway that underlies the emotional behaviors critical for survival have been discovered by neuroscientists. The team has identified a chain of neural connections which links central survival circuits to the spinal cord, causing the body to freeze when experiencing fear. Understanding how these central neural pathways work is a fundamental step towards developing effective treatments for emotional disorders such as anxiety, panic attacks and phobias.

Via Mlik Sahib
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Mlik Sahib's curator insight, April 23, 2014 11:14 PM

"There is a growing consensus that understanding the neural circuits underlying fear behaviour is a fundamental step towards developing effective treatments for behavioural changes associated with emotional disorders."

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The Neuroscience of Resiliency: An Interview with Linda Graham - Mindfulness and Psychotherapy

The Neuroscience of Resiliency: An Interview with Linda Graham - Mindfulness and Psychotherapy | Social Affective Neuroscience | Scoop.it
Linda Graham, author of Bouncing Back shares with us what we can do to wire a more resilient brain.

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Resonant Brain: How you "feel" music

Resonant Brain: How you "feel" music | Social Affective Neuroscience | Scoop.it
Foot taps. Head nods. You might smile. Or Cry. You might get goose bumps.
You might feel sadness, joy or even reverence. For a second, the face of
someone you seldom think about flashes. You close your eyes to get closer.
You sing along.  Loudly.  You feel a kinship with the person now staring
from the adjoining car. Surely they approve. They do not.  What on Earth is
happening to you?  Neurologically, you are having a strong emotional
reaction to structured sounds.  Simply put, you are enjoying music.
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Despite what you've been told, you aren't 'left-brained' or 'right-brained'

Despite what you've been told, you aren't 'left-brained' or 'right-brained' | Social Affective Neuroscience | Scoop.it
Amy Novotney: The brain is more complex than corporate team-building exercises suggest, but the myth is unlikely to die anytime soon

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The Key to Happiness: Brainpower or Social Connectedness?

The Key to Happiness: Brainpower or Social Connectedness? | Social Affective Neuroscience | Scoop.it

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The 7 Main Elements of Happiness and How To Use Them All - Pick the Brain

The 7 Main Elements of Happiness and How To Use Them All - Pick the Brain | Social Affective Neuroscience | Scoop.it
You know, I think happiness has become a complicated game thanks to the self-help world.

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Powerful and Coldhearted - It’s hard for powerful people to feel empathy.

Powerful and Coldhearted - It’s hard for powerful people to feel empathy. | Social Affective Neuroscience | Scoop.it

It’s hard for powerful people to feel empathy.

 

The human brain can be exquisitely attuned to other people, thanks in part to its so-called mirror system. The mirror system is composed of a network of brain regions that become active both when you perform an action (say, squeezing a rubber ball in your hand) and when you observe someone elsewho performs the same action (squeezing a rubber ball in his hand).

 

 

Our brains appear to be able to intimately resonate with others’ actions, and this process may allow us not only to understand what they are doing, but also, in some sense, to experience it ourselves — i.e., to empathize.

 

 

In our study, we induced a set of participants to temporarily feel varying levels of power by asking them to write a brief essay about a moment in their lives.

 

 

============================
Does this mean that the powerful are
heartless beings incapable of empathy?
=================== 


by Michael Inzlicht is an associate professor of psychology at the University of Toronto. 


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The nose knows: How to pick your friends

The nose knows: How to pick your friends | Social Affective Neuroscience | Scoop.it
We all have that friend. Let's call her Jane. Jane is bubbly and
gregarious. Jane doesn't attend a party, she manifests it. She seeks out
social gatherings and is enlivened by human presence. Jane is a good
listener and has many trusted friends. What can explain Jane's
extroversion? The answer, astonishingly, is her attraction to human body
odor. 
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Artists' Brains Have More 'Grey Matter' Than The Rest Of Ours, Study Finds

Artists' Brains Have More 'Grey Matter' Than The Rest Of Ours, Study Finds | Social Affective Neuroscience | Scoop.it
You might be guilty of categorizing artists as "right-brained" thinkers who lean on that particular hemisphere of the brain for creativity. But a new study published last month claims overall brain "structure" is a better distingu...

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We feel, therefore we learn: The neuroscience of social emotion. Daniel Siegel - YouTube

Presenting at the Mind and its Potential conference, Dr Daniel Siegel MD speaks about Interpersonal Neurobiology, an interdisciplinary view of life experienc...

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The Real Neuroscience of Creativity

The Real Neuroscience of Creativity | Social Affective Neuroscience | Scoop.it
'The latest findings from the real neuroscience of creativity suggest that the right brain/left brain distinction is not the right one when it comes to understanding how creativity is implemented in the brain.

Via Beth Dichter, Lynnette Van Dyke
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Gary Faust's curator insight, August 30, 2013 8:53 PM

In experience creativity seems to be volitional not physiological, now there is some science to counteract this socially accepted point of view. 

Regis Elo's comment, September 18, 2013 7:01 PM
Sorry again for the delay.thankx for your comments. I add that it seems coherent to agree with both of you Kathy and Louise , inclueing the possibility to care about the individual self-consciousness and empathy as a specific human condition to be eternally unsatisfied WITHOUT SPIRITUALITY?....IT'S BEYOND! i guess
Saberes Sin Fronteras OVS's comment, September 19, 2013 1:18 PM
Thanks for the comments.
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Facebook See, Facebook Do

Facebook See, Facebook Do | Social Affective Neuroscience | Scoop.it
Think of the last time you visited a restaurant. How was the service? Was
the waiter or waitress smiling? Could you pick up on their mood?  Now think
carefully. At the end, was the amount of gratuity offered influenced by how
he/she made you feel? Of course it was. “Service with a smile” is a social
contagion phenomenon similar to “Monkey See, Monkey Do,” whereby the
emotional relevant stimuli is mimicked among members during a face-to-face
interaction.  What hasn’t been tested yet is whether this event holds true
among social networks. Until now. 
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Do Brain Workouts Work? Science Isn't Sure

Do Brain Workouts Work? Science Isn't Sure | Social Affective Neuroscience | Scoop.it
Tools like Lumosity promise to stimulate your mind, though researchers question how much they improve cognitive performance.

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Stress in mothers of children with autism: Trait mindfulness as a protective factor

Publication date: June 2014
Source:Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, Volume 8, Issue 6
Author(s): Caitlin M. Conner , Susan W. White
Mindfulness-based interventions may reduce parents’ stress and improve parent–child relationships.

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Serotonin levels affect the brain’s response to anger | University of Cambridge

Serotonin levels affect the brain’s response to anger | University of Cambridge | Social Affective Neuroscience | Scoop.it
Fluctuations of serotonin levels in the brain, which often occur when someone hasn’t eaten or is stressed, affects brain regions that enable people to regulate anger, new research from the University of Cambridge has shown.

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Mlik Sahib's curator insight, March 31, 2014 8:33 PM

"The research revealed that low brain serotonin made communications between specific brain regions of the emotional limbic system of the brain (a structure called the amygdala) and the frontal lobes weaker compared to those present under normal levels of serotonin. The findings suggest that when serotonin levels are low, it may be more difficult for the prefrontal cortex to control emotional responses to anger that are generated within the amygdala.

Using a personality questionnaire, they also determined which individuals have a natural tendency to behave aggressively. In these individuals, the communications between the amygdala and the prefrontal cortex was even weaker following serotonin depletion.  'Weak' communications means that it is more difficult for the prefrontal cortex to control the feelings of anger that are generated within the amygdala when the levels of serotonin are low.  As a result, those individuals who might be predisposed to aggression were the most sensitive to changes in serotonin depletion.

Dr Molly Crockett, co-first author who worked on the research while a PhD student at Cambridge’s Behavioural and Clinical Neuroscience Institute (and currently based at the University of Zurich) said: “We've known for decades that serotonin plays a key role in aggression, but it's only very recently that we've had the technology to look into the brain and examine just how serotonin helps us regulate our emotional impulses. By combining a long tradition in behavioral research with new technology, we were finally able to uncover a mechanism for how serotonin might influence aggression.”"