Empathizing with Difference

In a 2010 study entitled ‘How do we empathize with someone who is not like us? A functional magenetic resonance imaging study’, Lamm, Meltzoff, and Decety measured empathic neural circuits and connectivity coding for somatosensory, affective, and cognitive aspects of the perception of pain in similar and dissimilar others. Participants in a functional magnetic resonance […]

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Reinforcing Concern and Compassion Versus Distress and Fatigue in Empathic Responses to Psychosocial Stress

This is an early post to gather ideas about a project proposal I am developing. My goal is to distinguish underlying processes and and response patterns in empathic distress and empathic concern/compassion. Batson, Fultz, and Schoenrade (1987) regard empathic distress and empathic concern as two qualitatively distinct emotional responses to another person that also produce […]

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Humanizing Empathy

While I would love to live in a post-empathic world, where people were just eager to learn about and share with one another, and explore human communication to its utmost ends, I find that instead I live in a world where some people are still not seen as entitled to or deserving of the same […]

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Festival in Helsinki

As soon as I land, Helsinki appears to me as a dream-memory juxtaposition of my own wonderment and imagination. Wandering the block, I find artifacts of my childhood and places I have cherished throughout my life: a swinging picnic table, a sandbox, a swing, a little library, a used bookstore, the scent of burning wood, pine trees, […]

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Persistence of Illusion

In my Neuroscience of Consciousness course yesterday, my instructor presented Jackson’s (1982) Mary’s Room thought experiment, also known as the knowledge problem. This is the thought experiment: Mary is a brilliant scientist who is, for whatever reason, forced to investigate the world from a black and white room via a black and white television monitor. […]

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Making Intelligence Artificial

Artificial Intelligence (AI) refers to the capacity of a programmable system to produce output that is reminiscent of intelligent behavior, and to rapidly adapt with intelligent pattern-associations that can be parsed to intelligent learning (machine learning). The technical proficiency of virtual reality systems is often measured against its ability to replicate the experiential reality in some way, […]

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