Study finds empathy can be detected in people whose brains are at rest

UCLA researchers have found that it is possible to assess a person ’s ability to feel empathy by studying their brain activity while they are resting rather than while they are engaged in specific tasks.  Traditionally, empathy is assessed through the use of questionnaires and psychological assessments. The findings of this study offer an alternative to people who may have difficulty filling out questionnaires, such as people with severe mental illness or autism, said senior author Dr. Marco Iacoboni, professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.“Assessing empathy is often the hardest in the populations that need it most,” Iacoboni said. “Empathy is a cornerstone of mental health and well-being. It promotes social and cooperative behavior through our concern for others. It also helps us to infer and predict the internal feelings, beha vior and intentions of others.”Iacoboni has long studied empathy in humans. His previous  studies have involved testing empathy in people presented with moral dilemmas or watching someone in pain.Forthe current study, published in Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience, researchers recruited 58 male and female participants ages 18 to 35.Resting brain activity data were collected using functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI, a noninvasive technique for measuring and mapping brain activity through small changes in blood flow. Participants were ...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

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ré C Abstract We tested endogenous pain modulation mechanisms in adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Nineteen ASD adults without intellectual disabilities were included, matched with 19 healthy volunteers on the basis of sex and chronological age. An experimental pain model was used to measure excitatory and inhibitory pain mechanisms in a single session. Statistical analyses indicated that endogenous pain modulation mechanisms in ASD group did not differ significantly from those of healthy adults. The pain scores were very disparate in ASD group with a greater range of extreme scores than in contr...
Source: Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders - Category: Psychiatry Authors: Tags: J Autism Dev Disord Source Type: research
Conclusion3q29 deletion carriers may undergo developmental phenotypic transition and need regular medical follow ‐up. Identified risk variants in the remaining hemizygous allele should be explored further in autism and schizophrenia research.
Source: Molecular Genetics & Genomic Medicine - Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Authors: Tags: ORIGINAL ARTICLE Source Type: research
In this paper, we conduct a literature survey about various virtual reality (VR) treatments in psychiatry. We collect 36 studies that made use of VR to provide clinical trials or therapies for patients with psychiatric disorders. In order to gain a better understanding of the management of pain and stress, we first investigate VR applications for patients to alleviate pain and stress during immersive activities in a virtual environment. Particularly for anxiety, VR exposure therapies are effective in provoking realistic reactions to feared stimuli. On top of that, the exposure therapies with simulated images are beneficial...
Source: Frontiers in Psychiatry - Category: Psychiatry Source Type: research
This study aimed to investigate a potential correlation between NGF serum levels and brain structural differences in schizophrenia. Furthermore, a potential overlap between the results of a whole brain correlation analysis between GMV and NGF serum levels and the results of GMV reductions in schizophrenia patients were identified in a conjunction analysis.Materials and MethodsSubjectsEighteen schizophrenia patients from the Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, University Hospital RWTH Aachen, Aachen, Germany, and 19 gender- and age-matched healthy controls from the general population participated in ...
Source: Frontiers in Psychiatry - Category: Psychiatry Source Type: research
Xu Zhao1, Zhi-qiang Zhou2, Ying Xiong1, Xu Chen3, Ke Xu4, Juan Li1, Ying Hu1, Xiao-long Peng1 and Wen-zhen Zhu1* 1Department of Radiology, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China 2Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China 3Department of Neurosurgery, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China 4Department of Neurology, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science an...
Source: Frontiers in Neurology - Category: Neurology Source Type: research
ConclusionsSocial interactions are the most complex and ambiguous environments human beings place themselves in. Many explicit and implicit “rules” govern what is considered appropriate and what can be expected from any one interaction. Consequently, they are settings rife for miscommunication and misunderstanding. It requires intricate examination to determine exactly what the rewarding components of social interactions are. Social interactions are highly dynamic, complex circumstances that seem more inclined to produce anxiety than lead to rewards given their ambiguities. For those with social anhedonia, whos...
Source: Frontiers in Psychiatry - Category: Psychiatry Source Type: research
acute;vi S Abstract Neuronal Cl- homeostasis is regulated by the activity of two cation chloride co-transporters (CCCs), the K+-Cl- cotransporter KCC2 and the Na+-K+-Cl- cotransporter NKCC1, which are primarily extruding and importing chloride in neurons, respectively. Several neurological and psychiatric disorders including epilepsy, neuropathic pain, schizophrenia and autism are associated with altered neuronal chloride (Cl-) homeostasis. A current view is that the accumulation of intracellular Cl- in neurons as a result of KCC2 down-regulation and/or NKCC1 up-regulation may weaken inhibitory GABA signaling and ...
Source: Neuropharmacology - Category: Drugs & Pharmacology Authors: Tags: Neuropharmacology Source Type: research
Fight Aging! provides a weekly digest of news and commentary for thousands of subscribers interested in the latest longevity science: progress towards the medical control of aging in order to prevent age-related frailty, suffering, and disease, as well as improvements in the present understanding of what works and what doesn't work when it comes to extending healthy life. Expect to see summaries of recent advances in medical research, news from the scientific community, advocacy and fundraising initiatives to help speed work on the repair and reversal of aging, links to online resources, and much more. This content is...
Source: Fight Aging! - Category: Research Authors: Tags: Newsletters Source Type: blogs
A person should not be defined by an illness or condition.  Often in popular media or casual conversation, people speak about the subject of a news story or an acquaintance by saying, “he is bipolar”, “schizophrenic”, or “mentally ill.” No one says, “She is cancer,” “she is a heart condition,” or “she is lupus.” Aside from a few very select common physical illnesses, such as diabetes where people find community and comfort in sharing their diagnosis, we would never consider insulting a person by simply identifying them by the disease which they ha...
Source: World of Psychology - Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: Tags: General Mental Health and Wellness Minding the Media Stigma Crisis Counseling destigmatization discrimination Labels neurodivergent Stereotypes Validation Source Type: blogs
In conclusion, the studies presented in the current review demonstrate that CBD has the potential to limit delta-9-THC-induced cognitive impairment and improve cognitive function in various pathological conditions. Human studies suggest that CBD may have a protective role in delta-9-THC-induced cognitive impairments; however, there is limited human evidence for CBD treatment effects in pathological states (e.g. schizophrenia). In short, they found that CBD may help alleviate the negative impact of a person with schizophrenia from taking cannabis, both in the psychotic and cognitive symptoms associated with schizophrenia. T...
Source: World of Psychology - Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: Tags: Alternative and Nutritional Supplements Disorders General Research Treatment cannabidiol Cannabis cbd cbd oil Marijuana THC Source Type: blogs
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