David Pizarro: Like the others, I'd really like to thank John and the Edge Foundation for bringing us out. I really feel like a kid in a candy store here, to be able to speak with everybody here on a topic that I actually thought was the nail in the coffin of my graduate career. But thanks to kind people, including Paul and John (Laughs), it has not been the nail yet. (Laughs)
NICHOLAS A. CHRISTAKIS, physician and social scientist, is a Professor at Yale University with joint appointments in the Departments of Sociology and Medicine, and he was formerly a Professor at Harvard. For the last twelve years, working in the field of biosocial science, he has been studying the mathematical, biological, psychological, and sociological underpinnings of social network structure and function, and the deep origins and implications of collective behavior, including ways to experimentally manipulate such behavior.
Dr. Christakis received his BS from Yale in Biology in 1984, his MD and MPH from Harvard in 1989, and his PhD in Sociology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1995. He was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Science in 2006 and made a fellow of the AAAS in 2010. He has published over 150 scientific articles and chapters, co-authored (with James Fowler) Connected, edited medical textbooks, and also contributed to the editorial pages of various newspapers. He has been the recipient of teaching awards, and podcasts of his lectures have been available at iTunes for many years.
Experts agree that emotional intelligence helps people make good decisions. This intelligence is as essential for professional relationships as it is for personal ones. (RT @yogisonia: Make Better #Decisions With #Emotional Intelligence.
Patients suffering from Alzheimer's dementia develop difficulties in social functioning. This has led to an interest in the study of (RT @Keith_Laws: Can theory of mind deficits be measured reliably in ppl w/ mild & moderate Alzheimer's dementia?
The empathy trap: therapists and counselors almost by definition are empathic, to facilitate clients' recovery - but this quality can mean those carers are targets for sociopaths, aided by what Dr Jane & Tim McGregor call "apaths". The first UK article on this cruel sport shows how to identify and thus avoid it.
People targeted by a sociopath often respond with self-deprecating comments like "I was stupid", "what was I thinking" of "I should've listened to my gut instinct". But being involved with a sociopath is like being brainwashed. The sociopath's superficial charm is usually the means by which s/he conditions people.
Edvard and May-Britt Moser of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), and John O'Keefe, from University College London have been awarded the 2013 Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize for discoveries that have illuminated how the brain...
“Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) helped me create more ‘space’ with myself and when dealing with others. Space = patience,acceptance, better listening and more awareness.” -Recent CCT student
What is CCT? According to the course creators at Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education:
“Compassion Cultivation Training is an eight-week educational program designed to help you improve your resilience and feel more connected to others—ultimately providing an overall sense of well-being. CCT combines traditional contemplative practices with contemporary psychology and scientific research to help you lead a more compassionate life. Through instruction, daily meditation, mindfulness, and in-class interaction, you can strengthen the qualities of compassion, empathy, and kindness.”
Electrical stimulation of the anterior cingulate region performed in two subjects
A stereotyped set of cognitive and autonomic changes was elicited in both subjects
This included feeling of anticipated challenge and strong motivation to overcome it
Site of stimulation in both subjects was a core node of the brain’s salience network
Anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) is known to be involved in functions such as emotion, pain, and cognitive control. While studies in humans and nonhuman mammals have advanced our understanding of ACC function, the subjective correlates of ACC activity have remained largely unexplored. In the current study, we show that electrical charge delivery in the anterior midcingulate cortex (aMCC) elicits autonomic changes and the expectation of an imminent challenge coupled with a determined attitude to overcome it. Seed-based, resting-state connectivity analysis revealed that the site of stimulation in both patients was at the core of a large-scale distributed network linking aMCC to the frontoinsular and frontopolar as well as some subcortical regions. This report provides compelling, first-person accounts of electrical stimulation of this brain network and suggests its possible involvement in psychopathological conditions that are characterized by a reduced capacity to endure psychological or physical distress.
PAUL BLOOM is the Brooks and Suzanne Ragen Professor of Psychology at Yale University. His research explores how children and adults understand the physical and social world, with special focus on morality, religion, fiction, and art. He has won numerous awards for his research and teaching. He is the past-president of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology, and co-editor of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, one of the major journals in the field.
Bloom is the author or editor of six books, including Just Babies: The Origins of Good and Evil (Crown, forthcoming). He has written for scientific journals such as Nature and Science, and for popular outlets such as The New York Times, The Guardian, The New Yorker, and The Atlantic Monthly.
He had been interviewed many times on NPR, including the Todd Mundtz Show, the Larry Mantle Show, the Brian Lehrer Show, and "On Point." He is one of the best-regarded lecturers at Yale, and his Introduction to Psychology class was one of the first, and most popular, of forty selected by Yale to be made available worldwide as part of an open access web-based program. He lives in New Haven with his wife and two sons.
Official site of Nicholas A. Christakis, MD, PhD, internist and social scientist at Harvard University specializing in health and social networks, and in the mathematical, social, and biological properties of networks.
Debate is ongoing about what role, if any, variation in the serotonin transporter linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR) plays in depression. Some studies report an interaction between 5-HTTLPR variation and stressful life events affecting the risk for depression, others report a main effect of 5-HTTLPR variation on depression, while others find no evidence for either a main or interaction effect. Meta-analyses of multiple studies have also reached differing conclusions.
New Scientist Drawing on a moon brings out people's best and worst New Scientist This effect, caused by stimulation of mirror neurons, has been used to explain the feeling of motion experienced by people viewing paintings by Jackson Pollock.
FOUR SUITES OF BEHAVIORAL TRAITS HAVE BEEN ASSOCIATED WITH FOUR BROAD NEURAL SYSTEMS: the 1) dopamine and related norepinephrine system; 2) serotonin; 3) testosterone; 4) and estrogen and oxytocin system. A 56-item questionnaire, the Fisher Temperament Inventory (FTI), was developed to define four temperament dimensions associated with these behavioral traits and neural systems. The questionnaire has been used to suggest romantic partner compatibility. The dimensions were named: Curious/Energetic; Cautious/Social Norm Compliant; Analytical/Tough-minded; and Prosocial/Empathetic. For the present study, the FTI was administered to participants in two functional magnetic resonance imaging studies that elicited feelings of love and attachment, near-universal human experiences. Scores for the Curious/Energetic dimension co-varied with activation in a region of the substantia nigra, consistent with the prediction that this dimension reflects activity in the dopamine system. Scores for the Cautious/Social Norm Compliant dimension correlated with activation in the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex in regions associated with social norm compliance, a trait linked with the serotonin system. Scores on the Analytical/Tough-minded scale co-varied with activity in regions of the occipital and parietal cortices associated with visual acuity and mathematical thinking, traits linked with testosterone. Also, testosterone contributes to brain architecture in these areas. Scores on the Prosocial/Empathetic scale correlated with activity in regions of the inferior frontal gyrus, anterior insula and fusiform gyrus. These are regions associated with mirror neurons or empathy, a trait linked with the estrogen/oxytocin system, and where estrogen contributes to brain architecture. These findings, replicated across two studies, suggest that the FTI measures influences of four broad neural systems, and that these temperament dimensions and neural systems could constitute foundational mechanisms in personality structure and play a role in romantic partnerships.
Facebook is hosting the fourth Compassion Research Day Thursday at its headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., and the social network revealed six important trends its compassion research team discovered while partnering with researchers from Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, Yale’s Center for Emotional Intelligence, Stanford University, Northeastern University, Claremont McKenna University, and other institutions.
Facebook said in introducing the six trends, which it revealed during the event: