Thursday, July 5, 2012

Keynote 3: Singer

Thursday, July 5 2012 09:15-10:30 @ Dome theatre

Keynote 3: "Social Emotions from the Lens of Social Neuroscience: Modulation, Development and Plasticity"

Tania Singer (Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Germany).


With the emergence of social neuroscience, researchers have started to investigate the underpinnings of our ability to share and understand feelings of others. After a definition of concepts, I will shortly revise the main results of neuroscientific studies investigating empathic brain responses elicited by the observation of others in pain and show how these empathic brain responses are modulated by several contextual and stimulus intrinsic factors such as perceived fairness or ingroup/outgroup membership. Furthermore, I will present data from a novel paradigm on empathy for pleasant and unpleasant touch allowing the investigation of the neural mechanisms underlying affective egocentric bias in adults. These data will be complemented with developmental findings showing age-differences in egocentric bias, social emotions such as envy and Schadenfreude as well as strategic decision making during childhood. Finally, I present evidence of affective brain plasticity based on mental training of social emotions. These data will be discussed in lights of their relevance for recent models of social cognition.

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