Center for Building a Culture of Empathy

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Culture of Empathy Builder: Kevin N Ochsner


Kevin N Ochsner


  Kevin received his bachelor's degree summa cum laude in psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his Masters degree and Ph.D. in psychology from Harvard University. He has also received postdoctoral training in social psychology at Harvard and functional neuroimaging at Stanford University. He currently is Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Psychology at Columbia University.







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 15 April 2012 - The neuroscience of empathy: progress, pitfalls and promise
Jamil Zaki & Kevin N Ochsner

The last decade has witnessed enormous growth in the neuroscience of empathy. Here, we survey research in this domain with an eye toward evaluating its strengths and weaknesses. First, we take stock of the notable progress made by early research in characterizing the neural systems supporting two empathic sub-processes: sharing others' internal states and explicitly considering those states. Second, we describe methodological and conceptual pitfalls into which this work has sometimes fallen, which can limit its validity. These include the use of relatively artificial stimuli that differ qualitatively from the social cues people typically encounter and a lack of focus on the relationship between brain activity and social behavior. Finally, we describe current research trends that are overcoming these pitfalls through simple but important adjustments in focus, and the future promise of empathy research if these trends continue and expand.

25 Jul 2008 - The Science of Managing Fears
During times of stress and difficulty whether economic or personal it is easy to feel afraid, uncertain and just plain overwhelmed. Making choices about your future from a place of strong
emotion whether its fear, anxiety or panic may not result is the best solutions.  To help cope with such trying times it is useful to know first what your emotional response is what is it telling you and why and second, what you can do to bring yourself back to an even keel.

Video: In Monkey See, Monkey Yawn: Hard-Wired for Empathy by WSJ