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Mirror Neurons: Cells that Read Minds

Mirror Neurons: Cells that Read Minds | Psychology, Sociology & Neuroscience | Scoop.it

Humans, it turns out, have mirror neurons that are far smarter, more flexible and more highly evolved than any of those found in monkeys, a fact that scientists say reflects the evolution of humans' sophisticated social abilities.

 

The human brain has multiple mirror neuron systems that specialize in carrying out and understanding not just the actions of others but their intentions, the social meaning of their behavior and their emotions.

 

"We are exquisitely social creatures," Dr. Rizzolatti said. "Our survival depends on understanding the actions, intentions and emotions of others."

 

By Sandra Blakeslee

 

image: 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirror_neuron


Via Edwin Rutsch, Jocelyn Stoller, Ruth Obadia
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Why is yawning contagious? - Claudia Aguirre

View full lesson: http://ed.ted.com/lessons/why-is-yawning-contagious-claudia-aguirre *Yaaawwwwwn* Did just reading the word make you feel like yawning yours...
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Mapping Emotions On The Body: Love Makes Us Warm All Over

Mapping Emotions On The Body: Love Makes Us Warm All Over | Psychology, Sociology & Neuroscience | Scoop.it
Being happy is indeed a total body experience, according to maps of where people feel emotions.
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Another use for literature: ability to understand others, a precursor of empathy

Another use for literature:  ability to understand others, a precursor of empathy | Psychology, Sociology & Neuroscience | Scoop.it

Theory of mind' researchers find that reading serious fiction boosts one's ability to understand others, a precursor of empathy.

 

One thing that interests psychologists is the extent to which developing theory of mind is a precursor to the capacity for empathy. They are also looking at the way in which people with autism and sociopaths develop these abilities — or don't. And primatologists have demonstrated some of the rudiments of theory of mind in other apes.

Now, research by David Comer Kidd and Emanuele Castano of the New School for Social Research, published in the journal Science, suggests that reading literature improves these intuitive abilities. But not just any literature. Literature with a capital "L."




Via Edwin Rutsch
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Anu Ojaranta's curator insight, December 30, 2013 1:57 AM

Reading enhances empathy skills in children...

Carol Rine's curator insight, January 3, 8:23 AM

This is the 2nd article I have read this past week about literature and its positive effects on the brain. Frank McCourt once said, "This is English. Queen of the Curriculum." I wholeheartedly agree. This article purports, "...may be the equivalent of aerobic exercise for the parts of your brain most involved in the theory-of-mind skills."

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Pesquisador se descobre psicopata ao analisar o próprio cérebro - BBC Brasil - Notícias

Pesquisador se descobre psicopata ao analisar o próprio cérebro - BBC Brasil - Notícias | Psychology, Sociology & Neuroscience | Scoop.it
James Fallon diz que descoberta abalou suas convicções sobre o poder da herança genética de determinar o futuro de um indivíduo.
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Why We're So Materialistic, Even Though It Doesn't Make Us Happy

Why We're So Materialistic, Even Though It Doesn't Make Us Happy | Psychology, Sociology & Neuroscience | Scoop.it
No matter who you are, it's easy to get a little caught up in the idea of getting new stuff. Here's a look at why your brain is so materialistic and what you can do to keep it from overwhelming you.
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▶ Robert Seyfarth: Theory of Mind - YouTube

Robert Seyfarth talks about how children develop a 'theory of mind'. Download Quicktime version (720p HD): http://c0116791.cdn.cloudfiles.rackspacecloud.com/...
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How Bullied Children Grow into Wounded Adults

How Bullied Children Grow into Wounded Adults | Psychology, Sociology & Neuroscience | Scoop.it
A new longitudinal study finds children are affected by bullying throughout their lives—and reveals that even perpetrators can can struggle as adults.
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Top 10 Scientific Benefits of Compassion (Infographic) - Emma Seppälä, Ph.D.

Top 10 Scientific Benefits of Compassion (Infographic) - Emma Seppälä, Ph.D. | Psychology, Sociology & Neuroscience | Scoop.it
Happy Holidays! In the spirit of love, warmth and companionship, I’ve made this infographic on the scientific benefits of Compassion! We often think that we will gain happiness by achieving, receiving or attaining.
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Oxytocin sharpens social response in people with autism - SFARI News

Oxytocin sharpens social response in people with autism SFARI News Oxytocin, the infamous 'love hormone,' may attune the brains of people with autism to respond to social information such as facial expressions, researchers reported 2 December in...

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Selfie, word of 2013, sums up our age of narcissism

Selfie, word of 2013, sums up our age of narcissism | Psychology, Sociology & Neuroscience | Scoop.it
It’s hard to think of a more appropriate symbol of kind of society we've become
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Can People Learn Empathy From Playing Video Games?

December 07, 2013 KING 5 News http://MOXNews.com

Via Edwin Rutsch
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Experts Urge US Government To Begin Measuring 'Happiness' Of American Citizens

Experts Urge US Government To Begin Measuring 'Happiness' Of American Citizens | Psychology, Sociology & Neuroscience | Scoop.it
WASHINGTON (AP) — A panel of experts...

Via Gene Shklover, PhD
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Happiness at work: Why money isn't the only thing that matters

Happiness at work: Why money isn't the only thing that matters | Psychology, Sociology & Neuroscience | Scoop.it
Neuroscientist Matthew Lieberman explains how we can make ourselves smarter, happier, and more productive by building on our social intuition.

Via Gene Shklover, PhD, Ruth Obadia
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Psychologists Discover How People Subconsciously Become Their Favorite Fictional Characters

Psychologists Discover How People Subconsciously Become Their Favorite Fictional Characters | Psychology, Sociology & Neuroscience | Scoop.it
Psychologists have discovered that while reading a book or story, people are prone to subconsciously adopt their behavior, thoughts, beliefs and internal responses to that of fictional characters as if they were their own.
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Talking Endlessly About Depression Isn't Going To Make You Happier As a Therapist..

Conference homepage: http://bit.ly/h5yRPk Presentation slides and other materials from the presenters: http://bit.ly/euLB6m
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There Is No Left Brain/Right Brain

There Is No Left Brain/Right Brain | Psychology, Sociology & Neuroscience | Scoop.it

You are hardly alone if you believe that humanity is divided into two great camps: the left-brain and the right-brain thinkers — those who are logical and analytical vs. those who are intuitive and creative. It seems to be natural law. Except it isn’t.


Via Kenneth Mikkelsen, Susan Taylor, Lawrence Lanoff
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Lawrence Lanoff's curator insight, December 29, 2013 1:16 AM

Oops. I did it again. 

Miguel Garcia's curator insight, December 30, 2013 2:16 PM

great!

Eero Karvonen's curator insight, May 9, 8:59 AM

Not left and right, but bottom and top…

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PART 2: Gabor Maté and Alan Schwarz on "The Selling of Attention Deficit Disorder"

PART 2: Gabor Maté and Alan Schwarz on "The Selling of Attention Deficit Disorder" | Psychology, Sociology & Neuroscience | Scoop.it
In part two of our discussion with physician Gabor Maté and New York Times reporter Alan Schwarz, we discuss how attention deficit disorder manifests in children and adults, and why medication is not the solution for everyone who shows symptoms,...
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Paul Piff: Does money make you mean? | Video on TED.com

It's amazing what a rigged game of Monopoly can reveal. In this entertaining but sobering talk, social psychologist Paul Piff shares his research into how people behave when they feel wealthy.
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Make Time for Awe

Make Time for Awe | Psychology, Sociology & Neuroscience | Scoop.it
Novelty and perceptual vastness force us into the present moment, which has health benefits.
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Happiness: The Contagion Theory

Happiness: The Contagion Theory | Psychology, Sociology & Neuroscience | Scoop.it

"Have you ever noticed how being around nutsy/negative people can make you feel nutsy/negative?

Psychologists call this “emotional contagion” – and there’s even evolutionary reasons for why someone else’s curmudgeonly ways can infect you.

“The original form is the contagion of fear and alarm,” said Frans de Waal, a psychologist and primate expert at Atlanta’s Emory University. “You’re in a flock of birds. One bird suddenly takes off. You have no time to wait and see what’s going on. You take off, too. Otherwise, you’re lunch.”

Translation: Getting caught up in another’s negativity is a hard-wired survival mechanism.

“I have often noticed how primate groups in their entirety enter a similar mood,” de Waal said. “All of a sudden, all of them are playful, hopping around. Or all of them are grumpy. Or all of them are sleepy and settle down. In such cases, the mood contagion serves the function of synchronizing activities. The individual who doesn’t stay in tune with what everyone is doing will lose out, like the traveler who didn’t go the restroom when the bus stopped.”

Translation: Contagion theory of happiness also explains the powerful energy of “mob mentality” and why there’s a tendency for groups of people in a movie theater or concert to share a similar feeling for the move or concert.

Plus psychologists believe that “the contagion theory of happiness” is yet another form of our hard-wired mimicry we humans do – our instinctive human tendency to unconsciously imitate other people’s facial expressions, vocalizations, postures, and body movements.

For example, if someone scratches their nose, you might suddenly feel your nostrils twitch. Or if someone yawns and stretches and gets sleepy, you might yawn and feel more tired too.

Indeed, mimicry is such a strong foundation of our human emotional development that even at a mere 1-hour old, a newborn infant will be hard-wired to mimic a person’s facial gestures.

Hence why you can smile at 1-hour old baby, and this 1-hour old baby will smile back!

Translation: Our built-in human system for mimicry, explains why we humans can transfer our good and bad moods to each other.

The Journal of Applied Psychology offered up a study which showed the downer effects of a downer leader on a group. They took 189 volunteer undergraduates, divided them into 63 groups of 3, and told them they were taking part in a team-building exercise to put up a tent. Then a “leader” was chosen for each team, and shown either of video clip of a “Saturday Night Live” skits or a vignette on torture — to create either a positive/up beat mood or a negative/downer mood.

The result: If a leader was up, the team members’ moods rose. But if the leader was down, everyone became down.

Numerous other studies have also shown how when one person in a romantic coupling gets depressed, the other also becomes more depressed.

Psychologists believe this transfer of emotions is yet another form of empathy.

In London’s University College, psychologist Tonia Singer and colleagues used brain scans to explore empathy in 19 romantic couples. She hooked both individuals to brain scans. One partner in the couple was given a slight electric shock while the other partner watched. Each of their scans showed identical brain reactions. Although only one partner was shocked, both of the partner’s pain center lighted up – as if both had been jolted.

On a more happy note… Howard Friedman, a psychologist at University of California at Irvine thinks “emotional contagion” is also why some people can move and inspire others to positive action – like a good coach or a powerful preacher – or a joyous/exuberant partner in a romantic coupling.

Friedman believes it’s because the happy person’s happy facial expression, happy voice, happy gestures and happy body movements all together conspire to transmit happy emotions to all those around the happy person!"


Via HBEsbin, Jocelyn Stoller, Ruth Obadia
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Angie Mc's curator insight, December 16, 2013 8:56 PM

Today decide to be a HAPPINESS TRANSMITTER! <- Like that :)

Miguel Garcia's curator insight, December 19, 2013 2:48 AM

tal vez no sea la felicidad lo q se contagia pero si el estado de ánimo.

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Scratch a Happy Adult, Find a Socially Connected Childhood

Scratch a Happy Adult, Find a Socially Connected Childhood | Psychology, Sociology & Neuroscience | Scoop.it
A new study finds that a happy life is much more about making friends than it is about making the grade.
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The Link Between Using Pro-Social Media and Empathy

The Link Between Using Pro-Social Media and Empathy | Psychology, Sociology & Neuroscience | Scoop.it
Does watching TV and playing video games affect our empathy and willingness to engage in pro-social behavior?

 

The results of this study were recently published in the article "Long-Term Relations Among Prosocial-Media Use, Empathy, and Prosocial Behavior". As expected, empathy was strongly correlated with pro-social behavior. The more likely we empathize with fellow humans, the more likely we are to help them. The key finding of this study was that pro-social media content (TV, movies or video games) was significantly associated with greater empathy scores, and thus also with greater pro-social behavior. What makes this study quite innovative is that it surveyed participants from many different countries and cultures, all of whom showed a similar trend. This means that no matter what countries the participants grew up in, there was a correlation between watching helpful characters on TV screens or in video games and being able to empathize with fellow humans in real life.

 

"Long-Term Relations Among Prosocial-Media Use, Empathy, and Prosocial Behavior

http://pss.sagepub.com/content/early/2013/12/11/0956797613503854.abstract?papetoc


Via Edwin Rutsch
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The science of stage fright (and how to overcome it) - Mikael Cho

View full lesson: http://ed.ted.com/lessons/the-science-of-stage-fright-and-how-to-overcome-it-mikael-cho Heart racing, palms sweating, labored breathing? No...
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Oxytocin: The Holiday Hormone

Oxytocin: The Holiday Hormone | Psychology, Sociology & Neuroscience | Scoop.it
New study: People give more when under the influence of oxytocin.
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