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Old 24-07-2011, 08:07 PM   #1
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Default "Dissecting the empathic brain: An interview with Christian Keysers"

Dissecting the empathic brain: An interview with Christian Keysers from Roman Krznaric's Outrospection blog.

I think that the most exciting progress in my field is the discovery that the brain does not just mirror the emotions of others. We share the actions, sensations and emotions of the people around us. So if you see me grasp a cool glass of water, you share my intention to grasp the glass, what it feels like to grasp the glass, the cool sensation in my fingers and my satisfaction as I feel my thirst being quenched. This is richer than what the term ‘affective empathy’ suggests, and incorporates goals and sensations that traditional psychology had thought to be the result of much more cognitive processes... Some very good people have worked on understanding how the brain mentalizes. They have found certain brain regions that are consistently active while mentalizing (medial prefrontal cortex and temporo-parietal junction). What we still lack, and there I agree with you, is an understanding of what happens in these mentalizing [cognitive empathy] regions.The reason I focus on mirroring, is because seeing activity in somatosensory regions while viewing others being touched is primarily information about ‘where’ the process occurs. But it also shows that you transform what others feel into representations of what you would feel in their stead; ‘where’ becomes ‘how’ you understand others. When you study mentalizing, and find regions that are not involved in your own experiences, it is hard to know what actually happens within these regions. ‘Where’ remains where.
My bold.

Yup. Sensory empathy. Re: therapeutic relationship, I think manual therapists need this. Big time. It's probably the main factor that lets us get rid of the stupid (operator mentality) training wheels after awhile.
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