Prof. Keysers and Prof. Gazzola: A Neural Perspective on Empathy and Prosociality
This joint talk by Professors Christian Keysers and Valeria Gazzola is hosted by the Department of Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering (NBE).
Brain and Mind Lab is hosting a visit of Prof Christian Keysers and Prof Valeria Gazzola, both from Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience and University of Amsterdam. Together, their laboratories form the Social Brain Lab (https://nin.nl/research/researchgroups/keysers-group/sbl/) that investigates the neural mechanisms underlying social cognition: perceiving what others feel and want and reacting accordingly.
Prof Keysers and Prof Gazzola will give a joint talk on Thursday, 15.2., at 14:15-16 in lecture hall F239a (Otakaari 3, Espoo), titled "A Neural Perspective on Empathy and Prosociality". Please see the abstract below:
A Neural Perspective on Empathy and Prosociality
Thursday 15.2. at 14:15, Lecture hall F239a, Otakaari 3, Espoo
How does our brain make us understand what other people do and feel? How does our brain motivate us to help others? Here we will briefly review empirical evidence for the fact that we activate motor, somatosensory and emotional brain regions while we perceive the actions, sensations and emotions of others. We will discuss the often drawn conclusion that this is a neural basis for perceiving what goes on in others and for motivating prosocial behavior and causing emotional contagion, but that these speculations have seldom been tested. We will then present a series of experiments that explore in humans and rodents whether altering these brain activities indeed alter perception and cause changes in emotional contagion and prosocial behavior. We will conclude using experiments from psychopathic criminals that people vary in their propensity to regulate these empathic mechanisms in a goal directed manner, to increase their benefits and decrease their costs.