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Social Neuroscience Advances
Understanding ourselves and how we interact
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Five Surprising Ways Oxytocin Shapes Your Social Life

Five Surprising Ways Oxytocin Shapes Your Social Life | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
New research is finding that oxytocin doesn’t just bond us to mothers, lovers, and friends—it also seems to play a role in excluding others from that bond.
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Dana Foundation Blog: Design a Brain Experiment Competition Deadline: January 17

It's not too early to start thinking about creative ideas for the Dana Foundation's Design a Brain Experiment competition for high school students. Cash prizes!
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Dana Foundation Blog: The Thinking Behind What Drives Creativity at Neuroscience 2013

Pixar and Disney Animation President Ed Catmull talks about how to sustain creativity once you've achieved success.
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Managing the modern world: The science of compassion meditation

Managing the modern world: The science of compassion meditation | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Compassion meditation provides a mental "technology" for maintaining a open, caring attitude in the face of modern pressures. How does it work?

Via Dave Vago
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Compassion: Bridging Practice and Science eBook with Tania Singer, PhD. - What Meditation Really Is

Compassion: Bridging Practice and Science eBook with Tania Singer, PhD. - What Meditation Really Is | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
I just downloaded the new, absolutely free eBook, edited by Tania Singer and Matthias Bolz. Believe me when I say, you gots to get this! It’s called C...
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Mapping Aesthetic Musical Emotions in the Brain

Mapping Aesthetic Musical Emotions in the Brain | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it

Music evokes complex emotions beyond pleasant/unpleasant or happy/sad dichotomies usually investigated in neuroscience. Here, we used functional neuroimaging with parametric analyses based on the intensity of felt emotions to explore a wider spectrum of affective responses reported during music listening. Positive emotions correlated with activation of left striatum and insula when high-arousing (Wonder, Joy) but right striatum and orbitofrontal cortex when low-arousing (Nostalgia, Tenderness). Irrespective of their positive/negative valence, high-arousal emotions (Tension, Power, and Joy) also correlated with activations in sensory and motor areas, whereas low-arousal categories (Peacefulness, Nostalgia, and Sadness) selectively engaged ventromedial prefrontal cortex and hippocampus. The right parahippocampal cortex activated in all but positive high-arousal conditions. Results also suggested some blends between activation patterns associated with different classes of emotions, particularly for feelings of Wonder or Transcendence. These data reveal a differentiated recruitment across emotions of networks involved in reward, memory, self-reflective, and sensorimotor processes, which may account for the unique richness of musical emotions.

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» 4 Therapy Skills Everyone Should Have - The Impact of Sex Addiction

» 4 Therapy Skills Everyone Should Have - The Impact of Sex Addiction | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
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New Study: Brain Neuronal Networks

New Study: Brain Neuronal Networks | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it

"A paper published in a special edition of the journal Science proposes a novel understanding of brain architecture using a network representation of connections within the primate cortex. Zoltán Toroczkai, professor of physics at the University of Notre Dame and co-director of the Interdisciplinary Center for Network Science and Applications, is a co-author of the paper "Cortical High-Density Counterstream Architectures."

 

Using brain-wide and consistent tracer data, the researchers describe the cortex as a network of connections with a "bow tie" structure characterized by a high-efficiency, dense core connecting with "wings" of feed-forward and feedback pathways to the rest of the cortex (periphery). The local circuits, reaching to within 2.5 millimeters and taking up more than 70 percent of all the connections in the macaque cortex, are integrated across areas with different functional modalities (somatosensory, motor, cognitive) with medium- to long-range projections.

 

The authors also report on a simple network model that incorporates the physical principle of entropic cost to long wiring and the spatial positioning of the functional areas in the cortex. They show that this model reproduces the properties of the connectivity data in the experiments, including the structure of the bow tie. The wings of the bow tie emerge from the counterstream organization of the feed-forward and feedback nature of the pathways. They also demonstrate that, contrary to previous beliefs, such high-density cortical graphs can achieve simultaneously strong connectivity (almost direct between any two areas), communication efficiency, and economy of connections (shown via optimizing total wire cost) via weight-distance correlations that are also consequences of this simple network model.

 

This bow tie arrangement is a typical feature of self-organizing information processing systems. The paper notes that the cortex has some analogies with information-processing networks such as the World Wide Web, as well as metabolism, the immune system and cell signaling. The core-periphery bow tie structure, they say, is "an evolutionarily favored structure for a wide variety of complex networks" because "these systems are not in thermodynamic equilibrium and are required to maintain energy and matter flow through the system." The brain, however, also shows important differences from such systems. For example, destination addresses are encoded in information packets sent along the Internet, apparently unlike in the brain, and location and timing of activity are critical factors of information processing in the brain, unlike in the Internet.

 

"Biological data is extremely complex and diverse," Toroczkai said. "However, as a physicist, I am interested in what is common or invariant in the data, because it may reveal a fundamental organizational principle behind a complex system. A minimal theory that incorporates such principle should reproduce the observations, if not in great detail, but in extent. I believe that with additional consistent data, as those obtained by the Kennedy team, the fundamental principles of massive information processing in brain neuronal networks are within reach.""

 


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Arguments: marital happiness hinges on wives keeping calm

Arguments: marital happiness hinges on wives keeping calm | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Marriages in which wives, not husbands, are able to regain their composure after a fight are happier, according to researchers from UC-Berkeley and Northwestern University.
Jocelyn Stoller's insight:

Maybe, but other research (Gottman, etc.) indicates that if a man feels contempt for his wife, it does not matter what she tries to do—the relationship is destructive

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PLOS ONE: The Relationship between Self-Awareness of Attentional Status, Behavioral Performance and Oscillatory Brain Rhythms

PLOS ONE: The Relationship between Self-Awareness of Attentional Status, Behavioral Performance and Oscillatory Brain Rhythms | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
PLOS ONE: an inclusive, peer-reviewed, open-access resource from the PUBLIC LIBRARY OF SCIENCE. Reports of well-performed scientific studies from all disciplines freely available to the whole world.
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The most important lesson from 83,000 brain scans: Daniel Amen at TEDxOrangeCoast

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TED...
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Orgasm for dummies: Neuroscience explains why sex feels good

Orgasm for dummies: Neuroscience explains why sex feels good | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
New brain studies explain how pleasure really works -- and the amazing science behind amazing pleasure
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empathy triad - Daniel Goleman’s new book

empathy triad - Daniel Goleman’s new book | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it

Daniel Goleman’s new book, Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence, takes the idea even further. Understanding his “Empathy Triad” may help you become not only a better persuader but maybe even a better person as well.


Goleman’s empathy triad comprises three forms of attention: cognitive empathy, emotional empathy, and empathetic caring.

 

Cognitive empathy is the closest to what I call outside-in thinking. Essentially, it’s paying attention to the other person’s thought processes and emotions, of knowing what they’re thinking and feeling, and being able to incorporate that into your persuasive approach. Another term for it is perspective taking, which is the ability to see the situation from the point of view of another person. It’s a skill that may be unique to humans, and begins to develop around the time we are three years old and ends only when we attain positions of power.

 



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Dana Foundation Blog: The Science and Ethics of Moral Enhancement

Dana Foundation Blog: The Science and Ethics of Moral Enhancement | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Panelists at the International Neuroethics Society meeting weighed in on the questions: Can we create a morality pill? And if we can, should we?
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What are the benefits of mindfulness?

What are the benefits of mindfulness? | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
This CE article offers an overview of the research on mindfulness and discusses its implications for practice, research and training.

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How Emotions Change Time

Experimental evidence suggests that emotions can both speed-up and slow-down the internal clock. Speeding up has been observed for to-be-timed emotional stimuli that have the capacity to sustain attention, whereas slowing down has been observed for to-be-timed neutral stimuli that are presented in the context of emotional distractors. These effects have been explained by mechanisms that involve changes in bodily arousal, attention, or sentience. A review of these mechanisms suggests both merits and difficulties in the explanation of the emotion-timing link. Therefore, a hybrid mechanism involving stimulus-specific sentient representations is proposed as a candidate for mediating emotional influences on time. According to this proposal, emotional events enhance sentient representations, which in turn support temporal estimates. Emotional stimuli with a larger share in ones sentience are then perceived as longer than neutral stimuli with a smaller share.

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The Morality of Meditation

The Morality of Meditation | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Focusing the mind makes us more likely to help others in pain.

Via Dave Vago
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Dave Vago's curator insight, October 30, 2013 9:38 AM

David DeSteno and Paul Condon at Northeastern are doing some great social psych experiments. More to come from them. ;)

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Emotional Intelligence (EI) in Three-D: Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion

Emotional Intelligence (EI) in Three-D: Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
In the previous (maiden) blog on EI, I introduced some initial ideas on this most important concept, emotional intelligence. If you remember, in the first article I featured Daniel Goleman’s four b...
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Rewiring Your Emotions | Mindful

Rewiring Your Emotions | Mindful | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Think you're destined to respond the same way emotionally to the same old triggers? Not necessarily so, says Sharon Begley. With a little mind training, you can chart new pathways.

Via Dionne, Emre Erdogan
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Dionne's curator insight, November 7, 2013 5:20 PM

While we do not yet know how far neuroplasticity will go and the concept is being overpopularised the article suggests that we can learn to sneak up on our emotions via our thoughts by being mindful to create wellbeing. 

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Loving touch may be key to healthy sense of self

Loving touch may be key to healthy sense of self | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
New research from the UK shows that slow caresses or strokes may contribute to developing and maintaining a positive sense of self.
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Ruth Obadia's curator insight, November 11, 2013 12:36 AM

A new study suggests that a gentle caress may be the key to feeling comfortable with one's self. Researchers say a loving touch may increase the brain's ability to construct a sense of body ownership and, in turn, play a part in creating and sustaining a healthy sense of self.

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Empathy in Language, Literature, and Society | Reykjavik, April 4-6, 2014

Empathy in Language, Literature, and Society | Reykjavik, April 4-6, 2014 | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it

The goal of the conference is to shed light on various unexplored and contested aspects of empathy. Although the word ‘empathy’ found its way into the field of psychology just over one hundred years ago, philosophers and artists have focused on emotions related to this term for centuries. The vitality of research into this phenomenon during the past 15 years is mirrored by its increasing prominence in public discourse in the media and society. This is clearly manifested, for example, by discussion of empathy as it relates to people’s reactions towards climate change

The writings of neurologists, philosophers, psychologists and others on the relationship between empathy and mirror neurons call for a new approach to the question of how language and literature evoke empathy. Literary scholars and psychologists have worked together and put considerable effort into empathy research, but linguists have played only a minor role in that enterprise. Collaboration of researchers in these areas is important, however, if we are to understand how language, narrative, social structure, and culture may interact with one another, either to evoke empathy or suppress it."


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Social giving makes us happier

Social giving makes us happier | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
People usually feel good when they make a charitable donation, but they feel even better if they make the donation directly to someone they know or in a way that builds social connection.
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PLOS ONE: An Evaluation of the Left-Brain vs. Right-Brain Hypothesis with Resting State Functional Connectivity Magnetic Resonance Imaging

PLOS ONE: An Evaluation of the Left-Brain vs. Right-Brain Hypothesis with Resting State Functional Connectivity Magnetic Resonance Imaging | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
PLOS ONE: an inclusive, peer-reviewed, open-access resource from the PUBLIC LIBRARY OF SCIENCE. Reports of well-performed scientific studies from all disciplines freely available to the whole world.
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Empathy and Empaths « What is an Empath?

Empathy and Empaths « What is an Empath? | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it

An Empath is a person who was born with unique variations in the central nervous system. This means how the brain is configured and how the nervous system works in the body. This has not yet been studied and quantified by science. Instead it is being brought forth by individuals who are becoming self-aware of these qualities and who explore this experience through creative and intuitive outlets.


Via Edwin Rutsch, Lynnette Van Dyke
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