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Social Neuroscience Advances
Understanding ourselves and how we interact
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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 10, 2013 9:36 PM

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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Jon Kabat-Zinn: Listening is an Act of Love

Bestselling author and researcher Jon Kabat-Zinn explores how mindfulness-based stress reduction can help you to go beyond the self, to identify and alleviat...

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Abi O'Neill's curator insight, November 10, 2013 12:32 AM

Listening is a powerful, emotional process requiring an intentional and mindful effort.  Carl Rogers said “The biggest block between two people is their inability to listen to each other intelligently, understandingly and skilfully” .

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The Happiness Formula

The Happiness Formula | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Ed Diener has focused his career on uncovering the essential ingredients to subjective well-being, a term that includes positive feelings and life satisfaction. Nicknamed “Dr.
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Does Your Left Brain Know What Your Right Brain is Thinking? (Op-Ed) - LiveScience.com

Does Your Left Brain Know What Your Right Brain is Thinking? (Op-Ed) - LiveScience.com | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
LiveScience.com
Does Your Left Brain Know What Your Right Brain is Thinking?
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Having Friends Is Actually Good For You - Huffington Post Canada

Having Friends Is Actually Good For You - Huffington Post Canada | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Having Friends Is Actually Good For You
Huffington Post Canada
It is well established that our brains are social. Neuroscience is confirming what we have always known: we are better -- healthier and happier -- when we have friends.
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Study Analyzes Effectiveness of Sending Follow-Up Postcards to Suicidal Patients -

Study Analyzes Effectiveness of Sending Follow-Up Postcards to Suicidal Patients - | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Review of current research in EMS.

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How the Brain Gets Addicted to Gambling: Scientific American

How the Brain Gets Addicted to Gambling: Scientific American | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Addictive drugs and gambling rewire neural circuits in similar ways
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Why understanding John Howard's climate cognition is important - Crikey

Why understanding John Howard's climate cognition is important
Crikey
It's refreshing to see a contributor writing in Crikey without the smart-arsed moral superiority I am used to - as illustrated by the comments already posted.
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Finding Your Own Rhythm at Work through Self-Compassion

Finding Your Own Rhythm at Work through Self-Compassion | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Most of what I am about to tell you is contrary to what you might have been taught or have come to believe in. I have to share this with you because it's just too good not to and because it's something that we need to place more emphasis on.

 

All you "need" is a practice of self-compassion.

Dr. Kristin Neff spoke brilliantly at the Stanford University CCARE, Business and Compassion Conference. She addressed how our global evaluation of self-worth breeds an internal negative dialogue of, 'Am I good enough?' She says that this sets us up for social comparison and nasty social dynamics. It breeds the idea that we need to be "special" or "above average" in order to be acceptable -- not to mention what it's done to further instill narcissism, which appears to be on the rise.

 

And what happens when we fail? This concept of self-esteem is contingent upon our success. We are "not allowed" to fail. Well, I'm here to share with you that it doesn't have to be this way...

Paula Pyne

Founder of Uplift Consulting


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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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emotional intelligence

emotional intelligence | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
emotional intelligence ("emotional intelligence" by @DanielGolemanEI
http://t.co/z3HEBMZpJ4)
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Yes, I’m an Ethical Person–Before Lunch, Anyway

Yes, I’m an Ethical Person–Before Lunch, Anyway | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Pacific Standard:
When was the last time you engaged in unethical behavior? Be honest, now, and be specific: What time of day was it when you cheated on that test, lied to your spouse, or stole that item from the company break room?
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Rep. Tim Ryan: Mindfulness Helps Me Maintain A Connection To My Values ... - Huffington Post

Rep. Tim Ryan: Mindfulness Helps Me Maintain A Connection To My Values ... - Huffington Post | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Rep. Tim Ryan: Mindfulness Helps Me Maintain A Connection To My Values ...
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The Healing Power of Compassion

The Healing Power of Compassion | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Cindy Ricardo, LMHC, CIRT - Suffering causes people to want to recoil from the pain. Not reacting or judging oneself opens the door to self-compassion.

 

Opening Heart and Mind Helps Connect and Heal

Running groups for survivors of domestic violence, I hear stories about physical, emotional, and verbal abuse. These stories are traumatic and heart-breaking. They all share a common theme of fear, loss of identity, and confusion. The shared experience of having to set aside their needs in an attempt to meet the needs of a controlling partner, whose wants and expectations are insatiable and unrealistic, left them with a sense of low self-worth, shame, and suffering. What helps them heal and become empowered is their ability to let go of judgment, share their stories in a supportive environment, and learn to develop a practice of self-care and compassion.


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The BioSync Team's curator insight, November 8, 2013 6:31 PM

Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.

—Dalai Lama


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Melanie Greenberg's curator insight, November 10, 2013 8:52 PM

The science of compassion is growing.  We are wired to connect and to turn to other humans for comfort.

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The Relationship Between Narcissistic Exploitativeness, Dispositional Empathy, and Emotion Recognition Abilities

The Relationship Between Narcissistic Exploitativeness, Dispositional Empathy, and Emotion Recognition Abilities | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it

The present research explores the link between the personality trait exploitativeness, a component of narcissism, and emotion recognition abilities. Prior research on this topic has produced inconsistent findings. We attempt to resolve these inconsistencies by testing the hypothesis that narcissistic exploitativeness, in particular, should be associated with emotion-reading abilities because it specifically taps into the motivation to manipulate others. Across two studies we find that narcissistic exploitativeness is indeed associated with increased emotion recognition, but in some cases the confounding effects of mood need to be considered (Study 1). Importantly, effect sizes of narcissistic exploitativeness were similar in magnitude to two different measures of dispositional empathy, which is an established correlate of emotion recognition. These studies suggest that emotional recognition abilities are associated with desirable and undesirable traits.


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Teaching Empathy Through Digital Game Play - MindShift (blog)

Teaching Empathy Through Digital Game Play - MindShift (blog) | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Teaching Empathy Through Digital Game Play
MindShift (blog)
Quandary approaches the broad topic of ethics by helping students understand how to take a different perspective and learn how to empathize.
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Personal Reflection Triggers Increased Brain Activity During Depressive Episodes

Personal Reflection Triggers Increased Brain Activity During Depressive Episodes | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Using neuroimaging techniques, researchers find people experiencing depressive episodes have increased brain activity when thinking about themselves.
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