With a Little Help from Our Friends: How the Brain Processes Empathy
Why are certain individuals born with a brain that is wired to help others? What daily habits or life experiences reinforce compassion but also selfishness, narcissism, and psychopathy? Social neuroscience models have assumed that people simply rely on their own emotions as a reference for empathy, but recent studies suggest neurobiological underpinnings for how the brain processes empathy. A better understanding of these processes, says the author, could lead to more social cohesion and less antisocial harm in society.
The Intuitive MagicianWhy Belief in the Supernatural Persists
The brains of even young babies not only organize sensory information but supply what is missing, determine cause and effect, and use the information to generate theories about how the world operates. Such natural intuitive reasoning persists when we become adults, says British cognitive neuroscientist Bruce Hood, Ph.D., and may underlie the tendency of even the most rational of us to believe in supernatural phenomena. At its distorted extreme, such reasoning can cause the paranoid delusions of schizophrenia. But sensing connections where others do not can be a hallmark of creativity and even scientiﬁc discovery.