People empathise differently; while some connect in a deeply emotional manner (i.e. they cry when watching a sad movie, as they almost experience the pain of the characters), others empathise in a more cognitive way (they approach the distress in others in a more rational way, offering helpful strategies, such as counselling).
Do these different empathising styles correlate with exisitng differences in people’s brains? The results of a voxel-based-morphometry study from the Monash in which researchers were able to predict the empathising style of participants, based on the gray matter density of two brain regions- the insula and the midcingulate cortex, suggest that this is the case.
“We consider the brain the very center of who we are and what we do: ruler of our senses, master of our movements; generator of thought, keeper of memory. But the brain is also rooted in a body, and the connection between the two goes both ways…” read the full article by Jordana Cepelewicz published online in the Quanta magazine here.
Philosopher Susan Schneider weighs the pros and cons of radical technological enhancement in a recent interview published in Scientific American. In this fascinating short read, Susan shares her thoughts on cognitive and emotional enhancement, collective consciousness, super-intelligence and the future of personalised AI.
Summary: Neurons created as a result of adult neurogenesis mature for longer and grow larger than those created during infancy. Findings suggest adult-born neurons may have a more powerful function than those created during infancy and may play a critical role in neuroplasticity.
David Hasncom, MD, outlines 10 simple practices we can follow to reduce the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines in our body and keep inflammatory responses at bay. Read the full article published in Psychology Todayhere
Global catastrophes change the world, and this pandemic is very much akin to a major war. Even if we contain the Covid-19 crisis within a few months, the legacy of this pandemic will live with us for years, perhaps decades to come. It will change the way we move, build, learn, and connect. There is simply no way that our lives will resume as if this had never happened. And so, while it may feel good in the moment, it is foolish to dive into a frenzy of activity or obsess about your scholarly productivity right now. That is denial and delusion. The emotionally and spiritually sane response is to prepare to be forever changed….
The link to the full version of Aisha S. Ahmad’s beautifully written personal account of adapting to living in the Corona-virus induced crisis and withstanding the “productivity pressure” can be found here