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Neuroscience Explores Why Humans Feel Empathy for Robots

Neuroscience Explores Why Humans Feel Empathy for Robots | Social Neuroscience Advances | 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
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Social Neuroscience Advances
Understanding ourselves and how we interact
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Part I of 2: Boost Your Emotional Intelligence: Take The Five Day EQ Challenge

Part I of 2: Boost Your Emotional Intelligence: Take The Five Day EQ Challenge | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it

"Empathy OCCURS in the moment one speaks with another human being." - Alfred Adler,  Understanding Human Nature


4. Empathy is taking other's feelings into account When making decisions, and is the most Easily Recognized of the five components. Empathy in Leadership matters for at least three reasons: Increasing use of teams; the rapid pace of globalization; and the growing need to retain talent. The ability to put yourself in someone else's shoes and understand What They May Be Feeling is one of the critical elements did define a high EQ leader. I recently hosted author Roman Krznaric at Google to talk about his latest book, Empathy. Krznaric is opening up the world's first "interactive" Empathy Museum in London this year. It's a sign of the times did empathy is important and crucial to wellbeing and Emotional Intelligence.


Rachael O'Meara 


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Overlooked for 30 years: Novel peptide plays role in Alzheimer's disease - Medical Xpress

Overlooked for 30 years: Novel peptide plays role in Alzheimer's disease - Medical Xpress | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
A team led by Christian Haass has identified a novel peptide that plays a role in Alzheimer's disease: The previously overlooked eta-amyloid interferes with neuronal function and may antogonize beta-amyloid – a finding that has implications for...

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Identifying Cognitive States Using Regularity Partitions

Identifying Cognitive States Using Regularity Partitions | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it

by Ioannis Pappas, Panos Pardalos

Abstract


Functional Magnetic Resonance (fMRI) data can be used to depict functional connectivity of the brain. Standard techniques have been developed to construct brain networks from this data; typically nodes are considered as voxels or sets of voxels with weighted edges between them representing measures of correlation. Identifying cognitive states based on fMRI data is connected with recording voxel activity over a certain time interval. Using this information, network and machine learning techniques can be applied to discriminate the cognitive states of the subjects by exploring different features of data. In this work we wish to describe and understand the organization of brain connectivity networks under cognitive tasks. In particular, we use a regularity partitioning algorithm that finds clusters of vertices such that they all behave with each other almost like random bipartite graphs. Based on the random approximation of the graph, we calculate a lower bound on the number of triangles as well as the expectation of the distribution of the edges in each subject and state. We investigate the results by comparing them to the state of the art algorithms for exploring connectivity and we argue that during epochs that the subject is exposed to stimulus, the inspected part of the brain is organized in an efficient way that enables enhanced functionality.


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Citation: Pappas I, Pardalos P (2015) Identifying Cognitive States Using Regularity Partitions. PLoS ONE 10(8): e0137012. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0137012

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Study: Empathy Training: Methods, Evaluation Practices, and Validity

Study: Empathy Training: Methods, Evaluation Practices, and Validity | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it

Tony Chiu Ming Lam, Klodiana Kolomitro, Flanny C. Alamparambil


Background: Empathy is an individual’s capacity to understand the behavior of others, to experience their feelings, and to express that understanding to them. Empathic ability is an asset professionally for individuals, such as teachers, physicians and social workers, who work with people.  


Being empathetic is also critical to our being able to live with others in general, and ultimately to leading happier lives. Subsequently it seems imperative to examine if and how it is possible to enhance people’s empathic ability.


Purpose: The purpose of this article is to use narrative review method to analyze studies of empathy training in human service and social science disciplines over the past thirty years to address the questions:

  • “How have people been trained in empathy and what are the findings?” and
  • “How was empathy training evaluated and how valid are these evaluation findings?” 



Document PDF

http://journals.sfu.ca/jmde/index.php/jmde_1/article/viewFile/314/327



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The Perks of Shedding a Tear: Investigating the Effect of Crying on Mood

The Perks of Shedding a Tear: Investigating the Effect of Crying on Mood | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
According to a new study, crying helps to elevate mood following an emotional event.
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“Brainy” mice raise hope of better treatments for cognitive disorders - University of Leeds

“Brainy” mice raise hope of better treatments for cognitive disorders - University of Leeds | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Researchers have created unusually intelligent mice by altering a single gene and as a result the mice were also less likely to feel anxiety or recall fear.

The study, led by the University of Leeds and Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, is published today in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology.

It sheds light on the molecular underpinnings of learning and memory and could form the basis for research into new treatments for age-related cognitive decline, cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia, and other conditions.

The researchers altered a gene in mice to inhibit the activity of an enzyme called phosphodiesterase-4B (PDE4B), which is present in many organs of the vertebrate body, including the brain.

In behavioural tests, the PDE4B-inhibited mice showed enhanced cognitive abilities.

They tended to learn faster, remember events longer and solve complex exercises better than ordinary mice.

For example, the “brainy mice” showed a better ability than ordinary mice to recognise another mouse that they had been introduced to the day before. They were also quicker at learning the location of a hidden escape platform in a test called the Morris water maze.

However, the PDE4B-inhibited mice also showed less recall of a fearful event after several days than ordinary mice.

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Scientists Discover Brain Network That Distinguishes Novelty From Familiarity

Scientists Discover Brain Network That Distinguishes Novelty From Familiarity | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Each morning, on your daily stroll to work, you migrate along the same streets, pass the same shops, smell the same aromas seeping out of the same cafes, and even habitually step on the same drain covers. But one day, you notice a new street sign, or perhaps a different gâteau amongst the usual delectable spread in a patisserie window. You’re immediately aware of its unfamiliarity, but how does your brain so readily distinguish between novel and known things?

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The gap between upper and lower structures of the brain is diminishing year by year...

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Scientists have grown an almost fully functioning brain in a lab

Scientists have grown an almost fully functioning brain in a lab | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Scientists have succeeded in growing an almost fully formed human brain in a lab for the first time ever.

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Nearly fully formed human #brain grown in laboratory #science #ethics #Alzheimer

Nearly fully formed human #brain grown in laboratory #science #ethics #Alzheimer | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
'Brain' comparable with that of a five-week-old foetus grown in a laboratory dish expected to advance Alzheimer's research

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The Neuron’s Secret Partner - Issue 27: Dark Matter - Nautilus

The Neuron’s Secret Partner - Issue 27: Dark Matter - Nautilus | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it

When we speak of brain cells we usually mean neurons: those gregarious, energetic darlings of cell biology that intertwine their many branches in complex webs and constantly crackle with their own electric chatter. But neurons make up only half the cells in the brain. The rest, known as neuroglia or simply glia, have long lived in the neuron’s shadow.

French physiologist Henri Dutrochet first documented glia in 1824, though he had no idea what they were—he simply noted globules between the nerves of mollusks. In 1856, German biologist Rudolf Virchow gave those blobs the name “neuroglia,” describing them as “a sort of putty in which the nervous elements are embedded.” In the following decades, scientists learned that this putty was in fact made of individual cells—at least six major types, we now know—that formed intricate structural networks with both neurons and blood vessels. Yet they still regarded glia (which is Greek for “glue”) as mere fluff ‘n stuff, the brain’s packing peanuts, an inert plasma holding everything else in place.


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Comment on The Rise and Fall of Neurotransmitters by Neuroskeptic

Comment on The Rise and Fall of Neurotransmitters by Neuroskeptic | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Glutamate is a bit difficult because it’s an amino acid as well as a neurotransmitter. Therefore search “glutamate” will get papers about proteins and genetics and nutrition, as well as neurotransmission.
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This Is Your Brain on Silence - Issue 16: Nothingness - Nautilus

This Is Your Brain on Silence - Issue 16: Nothingness - Nautilus | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
One icy night in March 2010, 100 marketing experts piled into the Sea Horse Restaurant in Helsinki, with the modest goal of making…

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Dave Vago's curator insight, August 13, 4:13 PM

This supports some of the work we are doing on "rest' states in meditators

 

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What Is an Empathy Map?

What Is an Empathy Map? | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Find out how to use an empathy map as a collaborative tool for agile teams to gain deeper insight into their customers.


Ask questions, such as what would this user be:

– thinking & feeling about their worries or aspirations?
– hearing while using our product, from their friends or boss?
– seeing while using our product in their environment?
– saying & doing while using our product in public or in private?
– experiencing as a pain point or fear when using our product?
– experiencing as a positive or gain when using our product?


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New Data on Autosomal-Dominant Alzheimer's Point to Early Fissures in the ... - Alzforum

New Data on Autosomal-Dominant Alzheimer's Point to Early Fissures in the ... - Alzforum | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
The Alzheimer’s Association International Conference, held July 18 to 23 in Washington, D.C., showcased a growing interest in early brain changes beyond the established markers of amyloid, tau, and brain volume that anchor the diagrams of...

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How to spot a psychopath through yawns, sense of smell and speech patterns

How to spot a psychopath through yawns, sense of smell and speech patterns | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Psychopathy – the absence of empathy or caring about other people – is characterised by a number of traits, such as being selfish, manipulative and having an antisocial lifestyle.


There are a number of ways to spot a psychopath, such as lack of empathy, superficial charm and self-centered impulsivity.


However, there are also some more straightforward methods to do with physical behaviours, scientists have found over recent years.
Immunity to contagious yawning....


Tests showed lower yawn frequency was associated with having less empathy...


Poor sense of smell


By Hannah Osborne 


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Unraveling Comparative Anti-Amyloidogenic Behavior of Pyrazinamide and D-Cycloserine: A Mechanistic Biophysical Insight

Unraveling Comparative Anti-Amyloidogenic Behavior of Pyrazinamide and D-Cycloserine: A Mechanistic Biophysical Insight | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it

by Sumit Kumar Chaturvedi, Nida Zaidi, Parvez Alam, Javed Masood Khan, Atiyatul Qadeer, Ibrar Ahmad Siddique, Shamoon Asmat, Yusra Zaidi, Rizwan Hasan Khan 

 

Abstract


Amyloid fibril formation by proteins leads to variety of degenerative disorders called amyloidosis. While these disorders are topic of extensive research, effective treatments are still unavailable. Thus in present study, two anti-tuberculosis drugs, i.e., pyrazinamide (PYZ) and D-cycloserine (DCS), also known for treatment for Alzheimer’s dementia, were checked for the anti-aggregation and anti-amyloidogenic ability on Aβ-42 peptide and hen egg white lysozyme. Results demonstrated that both drugs inhibit the heat induced aggregation; however, PYZ was more potent and decelerated the nucleation phase as observed from various spectroscopic and microscopic techniques. Furthermore, pre-formed amyloid fibrils incubated with these drugs also increased the PC12/SH-SY5Y cell viability as compare to the amyloid fibrils alone; however, the increase was more pronounced for PYZ as confirmed by MTT assay. Additionally, molecular docking study suggested that the greater inhibitory potential of PYZ as compare to DCS may be due to strong binding affinity and more occupancy of hydrophobic patches of HEWL, which is known to form the core of the protein fibrils.


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Citation: Chaturvedi SK, Zaidi N, Alam P, Khan JM, Qadeer A, Siddique IA, et al. (2015) Unraveling Comparative Anti-Amyloidogenic Behavior of Pyrazinamide and D-Cycloserine: A Mechanistic Biophysical Insight. PLoS ONE 10(8): e0136528. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0136528

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Natural process can curb beta-amyloid production, scientists discover - DOTmed.com

Natural process can curb beta-amyloid production, scientists discover - DOTmed.com | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
AICD molecule could be crucial part of Alzheimer's puzzle

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Why Neuroscience Needs Hackers

Why Neuroscience Needs Hackers | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it

Brain researchers are overwhelmed with data. Hackers can help.

There was a time when neuroscientists could only dream of having such a problem. Now the fantasy has come true, and they are struggling to solve it. Brilliant new exploratory devices are overwhelming the field with an avalanche of raw data about the nervous system's inner workings. The trouble is that even starting to make sense of this bonanza of information has become a superhuman challenge.

Just about every branch of science is facing a similar disruption. As laboratory-bench research migrates into the digital realm, programming is becoming an indispensable part of the process. At the same time, previously dependable sources of financial support are drying up. The result has been a painful scarcity of jobs and grants—which, in turn, is impelling far too many gifted researchers to focus on their narrow areas of specialization rather than investing time and energy into acquiring new, computer-age skills. In fields where data growth is especially out of control, such as neuroscience, the demand for computer expertise is growing as quickly as the information itself.


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Systematic review shows 'smart drug' modafinil does enhance cognition

Systematic review shows 'smart drug' modafinil does enhance cognition | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
The drug modafinil was developed to treat narcolepsy (excessive sleeping), but it is widely used off-licence as a ‘smart drug’ to promote cognitive enhancement, where qualities such as alertness and concentration are desired to assist someone with, for example, exam preparation. Past studies on sleep-deprived individuals have shown a strong positive effect of modafinil on these functions, but there has been less attention and scientific consensus on the drug’s overall effectiveness as a cognitive enhancer in people that are not sleep-deprived – presumably the majority of people taking it.

Now, a new systematic review, published online in the peer-reviewed journal European Neuropsychopharmacology shows that modafinil does indeed confer significant cognitive benefits in this group, at least on a particular subset of tasks.

Dr Ruairidh Battleday and Dr Anna-Katharine Brem from the University of Oxford and Harvard Medical School evaluated all research papers on cognitive enhancement with modafinil from January 1990 to December 2014. They found 24 studies dealing with different benefits associated with taking modafinil, including planning and decision making, flexibility, learning and memory, and creativity.

Unsurprisingly, they found that the performance-enhancing capacity of modafinil varied according to the task. What emerged was that the longer and more complex the task tested, the more consistently modafinil conferred cognitive benefits.

Modafinil made no difference to working memory, or flexibility of thought, but did improve decision-making and planning. Very encouragingly, the 70% of studies that looked at the effects of modafinil on mood and side effects showed very little overall effect, although a couple reported insomnia, headache, stomach ache or nausea (which were also reported in the placebo group).

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#Psychiatry is reinventing itself thanks to advances in #biology - New Scientist #science

#Psychiatry is reinventing itself thanks to advances in #biology - New Scientist #science | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Seeking biological markers for mental disorders is starting to bear fruit, says Thomas Insel, director of the US National Institute of Mental Health

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Early Predictors of Alzheimer's Disease May Not Occur in a Specific Sequence - Alzheimer's News Today

Early Predictors of Alzheimer's Disease May Not Occur in a Specific Sequence - Alzheimer's News Today | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Read how Early Predictors of Alzheimer's Disease May Not Occur in a Specific Sequence

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Man Goes To Hospital For Leg Pain, Finds Out He Only Has Half A Brain

n 2007, a perfectly healthy 44-year-old man complaining of minor leg weakness baffled doctors in France when a medical exam revealed that most of his brain was missing. Although researchers can explain why he lost his brain, figuring out how he managed to live so long without it is more difficult. However, a recent study may shed light on the man’s survival, proposing that brain size and brain function are largely unrelated.

The middle-aged father of two, whose identity was not revealed for privacy concerns, visited his doctor after suffering with mild weakness in his left leg for two weeks. According to the 2007 study on the bizarre case published in the scientific journal The Lancet, a more thorough medical examination revealed the patient was missing a significant amount of brain matter. Although it was difficult to measure exactly how much of the brain was absent, according to Lionel Feuillet, a co-author of the study, the doctors estimated that the patient was missing between 50 to 75 percent.

“The whole brain was reduced — frontal, parietal, temporal and occipital lobes — on both left and right sides. These regions control motion, sensibility, language, vision, audition, and emotional, and cognitive functions,” Feuillet told New Scientist.

Despite the handicap, the married father of two held a full-time job as a civil servant and showed no other signs of his missing body part other than a slightly below average IQ.
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Psychopaths Don't Yawn Around Others, So It's Time To Start Testing Your Friends

Psychopaths Don't Yawn Around Others, So It's Time To Start Testing Your Friends | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it

by PAMELA J. HOBART


Everyone knows someone who just might be a real psychopath, but how can you be certain? A recent study puts one more tool into your detection arsenal:psychopaths are much less likely to yawn around others who have yawned, basically because they're lacking in the empathy that makes the yawn contagion mechanism work. So while it's not exactly conclusive, that troublesome coworker's failure to yawn around the water cooler before an early-morning meeting might actually mean something after all.


A team of psychologists from Baylor University in Texas used experimental participants (both male and female) given a psychopathy personality test to investigate how yawning is related to empathy. 


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Tracking the Neural Circuits Responsible for Driving Mate Choice in Flies

Tracking the Neural Circuits Responsible for Driving Mate Choice in Flies | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
A new study explores how a the neural circuitry of a fly assesses the sutability of a potential mate.
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Circuitry of self-control and its role in reducing addiction. - PubMed - NCBI

Circuitry of self-control and its role in reducing addiction. - PubMed - NCBI | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Trends Cogn Sci. 2015 Jul 13. pii: S1364-6613(15)00144-8. doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2015.06.007. [Epub ahead of print] REVIEW

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