Social Neuroscien...
Follow
Find
3.0K views | +0 today
Social Neuroscience Advances
Understanding ourselves and how we interact
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Jocelyn Stoller
Scoop.it!

A new tool for brain research | Education In Arkansas

A new tool for brain research | Education In Arkansas | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Functional MRI is commonly used to study how the brain works, by providing spatial maps of where in the brain external stimuli, such as pictures and sounds, are processed. The fMRI scan does this by detecting indirect ...
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jocelyn Stoller
Scoop.it!

8 Things We Simply Don't Understand About the Human Brain

8 Things We Simply Don't Understand About the Human Brain | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Despite all the recent advances in the cognitive and neurosciences, there’s still much about the human brain that we do not know. Here are 8 of the most baffling problems currently facing science.
more...
Jocelyn Stoller's comment, July 30, 2013 2:19 PM
Yes, but every aspect of the areas mentioned are now being researched (in myriad ways) and insights continue to emerge.
Scooped by Jocelyn Stoller
Scoop.it!

Keeping Your Balance

Keeping Your Balance | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Researchers discover a distinct small cluster of cells deep within the brain which react within milliseconds to readjust movements and help maintain balance.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jocelyn Stoller
Scoop.it!

Human cells respond in healthy, unhealthy ways to different kinds of happiness

Human cells respond in healthy, unhealthy ways to different kinds of happiness | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Human bodies recognize at the molecular level that not all happiness is created equal, responding in ways that can help or hinder physical health, according to new research led by Barbara L.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jocelyn Stoller
Scoop.it!

What the Jazz Greats Knew About Creativity

What the Jazz Greats Knew About Creativity | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Learning how to break down inhibitions and prime your senses leads to more creative thinking
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jocelyn Stoller
Scoop.it!

The Benefits of Bilingualism

The Benefits of Bilingualism | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Being bilingual makes you smarter and can have a profound effect on your brain.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jocelyn Stoller
Scoop.it!

NIH researchers discover how brain cells change their tune

NIH researchers discover how brain cells change their tune | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Study may advance fundamental understanding of how brain cells communicate
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jocelyn Stoller
Scoop.it!

Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) and language

Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) and language | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it

Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), a non-invasive neuromodulation technique inducing prolonged brain excitability changes and promoting cerebral plasticity, is a promising option for neurorehabilitation. Here, we review progress in research on tDCS and language functions and on the potential role of tDCS in the treatment of post-stroke aphasia. Currently available data suggest that tDCS over language-related brain areas can modulate linguistic abilities in healthy individuals and can improve language performance in patients with aphasia. Whether the results obtained in experimental conditions are functionally important for the quality of life of patients and their caregivers remains unclear. Despite the fact that important variables are yet to be determined, tDCS combined with rehabilitation techniques seems a promising therapeutic option for aphasia.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jocelyn Stoller
Scoop.it!

Sudden decline in testosterone may cause Parkinson's disease symptoms in men - Science Daily (press release)

Sudden decline in testosterone may cause Parkinson's disease symptoms in men - Science Daily (press release) | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Sudden decline in testosterone may cause Parkinson's disease symptoms in men
Science Daily (press release)
Parkinson's is a slowly progressive disease that affects a small area of cells within the mid-brain known as the substantia nigra.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jocelyn Stoller
Scoop.it!

Migraine is Associated with Variations in Structure of Brain Arteries

Migraine is Associated with Variations in Structure of Brain Arteries | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
A new study suggests people who suffer from migraines are more likely to have an incomplete circle of Willis.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jocelyn Stoller
Scoop.it!

The Psychology of Music

The Psychology of Music | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Some music can make you sad, while some can make you smile. Find out why music affects the mood by learning about the psychology of music.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jocelyn Stoller
Scoop.it!

Veterans with mild TBI have brain abnormalities

Veterans with mild TBI have brain abnormalities | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
A study by psychiatrists finds that soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) have measurable abnormalities in the white matter of their brains when compared to returning veterans who have not experienced...
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jocelyn Stoller
Scoop.it!

Scientists Identify Key Brain Circuits that Control Compulsive Drinking in Rats | ucsf.edu

Scientists Identify Key Brain Circuits that Control Compulsive Drinking in Rats | ucsf.edu | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jocelyn Stoller
Scoop.it!

Fundamentals of Cognitive Neuroscience: A Beginner's Guide ...

Fundamentals of Cognitive Neuroscience: A Beginner's Guide ... | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Fundamentals of Cognitive Neuroscience, winner of a 2013 Most Promising New Textbook Award from the Text and Academic Authors Association, offers a comprehensive and easy-to-follow guide to cognitive neuroscience.
more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Jocelyn Stoller from Neuroscience_topics
Scoop.it!

NMDA receptor subunit diversity: impact on receptor properties, synaptic plasticity and disease

NMDA receptor subunit diversity: impact on receptor properties, synaptic plasticity and disease | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it

NMDA receptors (NMDARs) are glutamate-gated ion channels and are crucial for neuronal communication. NMDARs form tetrameric complexes that consist of several homologous subunits. The subunit composition of NMDARs is plastic, resulting in a large number of receptor subtypes. As each receptor subtype has distinct biophysical, pharmacological and signalling properties, there is great interest in determining whether individual subtypes carry out specific functions in the CNS in both normal and pathological conditions. Here, we review the effects of subunit composition on NMDAR properties, synaptic plasticity and cellular mechanisms implicated in neuropsychiatric disorders. Understanding the rules and roles of NMDAR diversity could provide new therapeutic strategies against dysfunctions of glutamatergic transmission - by Pierre PaolettiCamilla Bellone Qiang Zhou, Nature Reviews Neuroscience 14, 383–400 (2013)


Via Julien Hering, PhD
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jocelyn Stoller
Scoop.it!

Surgical Anesthetic Appears to Treat Drug Resistant Depression

Surgical Anesthetic Appears to Treat Drug Resistant Depression | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Researchers discover the anesthetic drug isoflurane could help treat drug resistant depression.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jocelyn Stoller
Scoop.it!

The Neuroscience of Your Brain on Fiction

Stories stimulate the brain. Metaphors like “He had leathery hands” rouse the sensory cortex.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jocelyn Stoller
Scoop.it!

Eyes are 500 million years old (ScienceAlert)

Eyes are 500 million years old (ScienceAlert) | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
A recent review into the evolution of eyesight has revealed human eyes originated around half a billion years ago.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jocelyn Stoller
Scoop.it!

Despite What We Might Say, We Don't Like Unfamiliar Music

Though we have access to a seemingly limitless amount of new music each day, we keep coming back to songs or albums, mostly stuff we liked at college age.It's common to prefer the familiar - even by college students who may self-identify as...
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jocelyn Stoller
Scoop.it!

How Has the Human Brain Evolved?: Scientific American

How Has the Human Brain Evolved?: Scientific American | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
How has the human brain evolved over the years?
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jocelyn Stoller
Scoop.it!

The Anorexic Brain - Science News

The Anorexic Brain - Science News | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
The Anorexic Brain
Science News
These regions, little islands of tissue called the insula, are one of the first brain areas to register pain, taste and other sensations.
more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Jocelyn Stoller from Mind and Brain
Scoop.it!

Six Habits of Highly Empathetic People

Six Habits of Highly Empathetic People | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it

If you think you’re hearing the word “empathy” everywhere, you’re right. It’s nowon the lips of scientists and business leaders, education experts and political activists. But there is a vital question that few people ask: How can I expand my own empathic potential? Empathy is not just a way to extend the boundaries of your moral universe. According to new research, it’s a habit we can cultivate to improve the quality of our own lives.

But what is empathy? It’s the ability to step into the shoes of another person, aiming to understand their feelings and perspectives, and to use that understanding to guide our actions. That makes it different from kindness or pity. And don’t confuse it with the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” As George Bernard Shaw pointed out, “Do not do unto others as you would have them do unto you—they might have different tastes.” Empathy is about discovering those tastes.

The big buzz about empathy stems from a revolutionary shift in the science of how we understand human nature. The old view that we are essentially self-interested creatures is being nudged firmly to one side by evidence that we are also homo empathicus, wired for empathy, social cooperation, and mutual aid.

Over the last decade, neuroscientists have identified a 10-section “empathy circuit” in our brains which, if damaged, can curtail our ability to understand what other people are feeling. Evolutionary biologists like Frans de Waal have shown that we are social animals who have naturally evolved to care for each other, just like our primate cousins. And psychologists have revealed that we are primed for empathy by strong attachment relationships in the first two years of life.

But empathy doesn’t stop developing in childhood. We can nurture its growth throughout our lives—and we can use it as a radical force for social transformation. Research in sociology, psychology, history—and my own studies of empathic personalities over the past 10 years—reveals how we can make empathy an attitude and a part of our daily lives, and thus improve the lives of everyone around us. Here are the Six Habits of Highly Empathic People:

 

HABIT 1: TALK WITH STRANGERS

Highly empathic people (HEPs) have an insatiable curiosity about strangers. They will talk to the person sitting next to them on the bus, having retained that natural inquisitiveness we allhad as children, but which society is so good at beating out of us. They find other people more interesting than themselves but are not out to interrogate them, respecting the advice of the oral historian Studs Terkel: “Don’t be an examiner, be the interested inquirer.”

Curiosity expands our empathy when we talk to people outside our usual social circle, encountering lives and worldviews very different from our own. Curiosity is good for us too: Happiness guru Martin Seligman identifies it as a key character strength that can enhance life satisfaction. And it is a useful cure for the chronic loneliness afflicting around one in three Americans.

Cultivating curiosity requires more than having a brief chat about the weather. Crucially, it tries to understand the world inside the head of the other person. We are confronted by strangers every day, like the heavily tattooed woman who delivers your mail or the new employee who always eats his lunch alone. Set yourself the challenge of having a conversation with one stranger every week. All it requires is courage.

HABIT 2: CHALLENGE PREJUDICES AND DISCOVER COMMONALITIES

We all have assumptions about others and use collective labels—e.g., “Muslim fundamentalist,” “welfare mom”—that prevent us from appeciating their individuality. HEPs challenge their own preconceptions and prejudices by searching for what they share with people rather than what divides them. An episode from the history of US race relations illustrates how this can happen.

Claiborne Paul Ellis was born into a poor white family in Durham, North Carolina, in 1927.Finding it hard to make ends meet working in a garage and believing African Americans were the cause of all his troubles, he followed his father’s footsteps and joined the Ku Klux Klan, eventually rising to the top position of Exalted Cyclops of his local KKK branch.

In 1971 he was invited—as a prominent local citizen—to a 10-day community meeting to tackle racial tensions in schools, and was chosen to head a steering committee with Ann Atwater, a black activist he despised. But working with her exploded his prejudices about African Americans. He saw that she shared the same problems of poverty as his own. “I was beginning to look at a black person, shake hands with him, and see him as a human being,” he recalled of his experience on the committee. “It was almost like bein’ born again.” On the final night of the meeting, he stood in front of a thousand people and tore up his Klan membership card.

Ellis later became a labor organiser for a union whose membership was 70 percent African American. He and Ann remained friends for the rest of their lives. There may be no better example of the power of empathy to overcome hatred and change our minds.

HABIT 3: TRY ANOTHER PERSON’S LIFE

So you think ice climbing and hang-gliding are extreme sports? Then you need to try experiential empathy, the most challenging—and potentially rewarding—of them all. HEPs expand their empathy by gaining direct experience of other people’s lives, putting into practice the Native American proverb, “Walk a mile in another man’s moccasins before you criticize him.”

George Orwell is an inspiring model. After several years as a colonial police officer in British Burma in the 1920s, Orwell returned to Britain determined to discover what life was like for those living on the social margins. “I wanted to submerge myself, to get right down among the oppressed,” he wrote. So he dressed up as a tramp with shabby shoes and coat, and lived on the streets of East London with beggars and vagabonds. The result, recorded in his bookDown and Out in Paris and London, was a radical change in his beliefs, priorities, and relationships. He not only realized that homeless people are not “drunken scoundrels”—Orwell developed new friendships, shifted his views on inequality, and gathered some superb literary material. It was the greatest travel experience of his life. He realised that empathy doesn’t just make you good—it’s good for you, too.

We can each conduct our own experiments. If you are religiously observant, try a “God Swap,”  attending the services of faiths different from your own, including a meeting of Humanists. Or if you’re an atheist, try attending different churches! Spend your next vacation living and volunteering in a village in a developing country. Take the path favored by philosopher John Dewey, who said, “All genuine education comes about through experience.”

HABIT 4: LISTEN HARD—AND OPEN UP

There are two traits required for being an empathic conversationalist.One is to master the art of radical listening. “What is essential,” says Marshall Rosenberg, psychologist and founder of Non-Violent Communication (NVC), “is our ability to be present to what’s really going on within—to the unique feelings and needs a person is experiencing in that very moment.” HEPs listen hard to others and do all they can to grasp their emotional state and needs, whether it is a friend who has just been diagnosed with cancer or a spouse who is upset at them for working late yet again.

But listening is never enough. The second trait is to make ourselves vulnerable. Removing our masks and revealing our feelings to someone is vital for creating a strong empathic bond. Empathy is a two-way street that, at its best, is built upon mutual understanding—an exchange of our most important beliefs and experiences.

Organizations such as the Israeli-Palestinian Parents Circle put it all into practice by bringing together bereaved families from both sides of the conflict to meet, listen, and talk. Sharing stories about how their loved ones died enables families to realize that they share the same pain and the same blood, despite being on opposite sides of a political fence, and has helped to create one of the world’s most powerful grassroots peace-building movements.

HABIT 5: INSPIRE MASS ACTION AND SOCIAL CHANGE

We typically assume empathy happens at the level of individuals, but HEPs understand that empathy can also be a mass phenomenon that brings about fundamental social change.

Just think of the movements against slavery in the 18th and 19th centuries on both sides of the Atlantic. As journalist Adam Hochschild reminds us, “The abolitionists placed their hope not in sacred texts but human empathy,” doing all they could to get people to understand the very real suffering on the plantations and slave ships. Equally, the international trade union movement grew out of empathy between industrial workers united by their shared exploitation. The overwhelming public response to the Asian tsunami of 2004 emerged from a sense of empathic concern for the victims, whose plight was dramatically beamed into our homes on shaky video footage.

Empathy will most likely flower on a collective scale if its seeds are planted in our children.  That’s why HEPs support efforts such as Canada’s pioneering Roots of Empathy, the world’s most effective empathy teaching program, which has benefited over half a million school kids. Its unique curriculum centers on an infant, whose development children observe over time in order to learn emotional intelligence—and its results include significant declines in playground bullying and higher levels of academic achievement.

Beyond education, the big challenge is figuring out how social networking technology can harness the power of empathy to create mass political action. Twitter may have gotten people onto the streets for Occupy Wall Street and the Arab Spring, but can it convince us to care deeply about the suffering of distant strangers, whether they are drought-stricken farmers in Africa or future generations who will bear the brunt of our carbon-junkie lifestyles? This will only happen if social networks learn to spread not just information, but empathic connection.

HABIT 6: DEVELOP AN AMBITIOUS IMAGINATION

A final trait of HEPs is that they do far more than empathize with the usual suspects. We tend to believe empathy should be reserved for those living on the social margins or who are suffering. This is necessary, but it is hardly enough.

We also need to empathize with people whose beliefs we don’t share or who may be “enemies” in some way. If you are a campaigner on global warming, for instance, it may be worth trying to step into the shoes of oil company executives—understanding their thinking and motivations—if you want to devise effective strategies to shift them towards developing renewable energy. A little of this “instrumental empathy” (sometimes known as “impact anthropology”) can go a long way.

Empathizing with adversaries is also a route to social tolerance. That was Gandhi’s thinking during the conflicts between Muslims and Hindus leading up to Indian independence in 1947, when he declared, “I am a Muslim! And a Hindu, and a Christian and a Jew.”

Organizations, too, should be ambitious with their empathic thinking. Bill Drayton, the renowned “father of social entrepreneurship,” believes that in an era of rapid technological change, mastering empathy is the key business survival skill because it underpins successful teamwork and leadership. His influential Ashoka Foundation has launched the Start Empathyinitiative, which is taking its ideas to business leaders, politicians and educators worldwide.

The 20th century was the Age of Introspection, when self-help and therapy culture encouraged us to believe that the best way to understand who we are and how to live was to look inside ourselves. But it left us gazing at our own navels. The 21st century should become the Age of Empathy, when we discover ourselves not simply through self-reflection, but by becoming interested in the lives of others. We need empathy to create a new kind of revolution. Not an old-fashioned revolution built on new laws, institutions, or policies, but a radical revolution in human relationships.


Via Jim Manske, Jone Johnson Lewis
more...
John Michel's curator insight, July 26, 2013 7:58 PM

If you think you’re hearing the word “empathy” everywhere, you’re right. It’s nowon the lips of scientists and business leaders, education experts and political activists. But there is a vital question that few people ask: How can I expand my own empathic potential? Empathy is not just a way to extend the boundaries of your moral universe. According to new research, it’s a habit we can cultivate to improve the quality of our own lives.

Scooped by Jocelyn Stoller
Scoop.it!

Women Prefer Funny Guys, It’s Scientifically Proven: Why Women Find Sense Of Humor Irresistible

Women Prefer Funny Guys, It’s Scientifically Proven: Why Women Find Sense Of Humor Irresistible | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
A new study finds that the female brain is hard-wired to respond positively to humor, which could be why funny guys finish first when it comes to love.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jocelyn Stoller
Scoop.it!

Exciting New Research Helps Diagnose Brain Injuries | New York Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer Blog

Exciting New Research Helps Diagnose Brain Injuries | New York Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer Blog | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Earlier this week we talked about the increase of public awareness regarding brain injuries and concussions. The experie
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jocelyn Stoller
Scoop.it!

Deadliest Cancers May Respond to New Drug Treatment Strategy | ucsf.edu

Deadliest Cancers May Respond to New Drug Treatment Strategy | ucsf.edu | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
more...
No comment yet.