Empathy Building Neuro-lab
2022 End of summer picnic on Suomenlinna island!
During our virtual 2021 Midsummer celebration!
Escape room - autumn 2021
Social brain. The figure on the right illustrates an example of the kind of work we do: (1) we create semi-realistic simulations of social situations (by virtual-reality, for example), and then (2) implement advanced neuroimaging in order to analyze and interpret the induced (& complex) brain patterns.
To have an initial idea of the neural mechanisms that we investigate, checkout a couple of our representative publications on the neuroscience of prejudice, intergroup empathy, and empathy development.
Neurophenomenology. In the lab, we are much inspired by Francisco Varela who coined the term neurophenomenology: an ambitious proposal to bridge the gap between physiological features of the mind (i.e., neuro) and the subjective experience (i.e., phenomenology). In collaboration with the phenomenologist Dr. Oren Bader, we examine the way that neural mechanisms relate to subjective-experience in the social world. More information can be found in our theoretical framework on empathy [Levy J, Bader O (2020) - c.f. illustration on the right] as well as our recent empirical support [Zebarjadi et al., (2021)].
VR. In the lab, we use study the impact of VR interventions. As part of a collaborative virtual-reality (VR) production which I (Yoni Levy) am happy to be part of, we created an intense (staged) encounter between Israeli soldiers & Palestinian passengers.
To have the Palestinian perspective, press here.
To have the Israeli perspective, press here.
N.B., for an immersive look you will need VR headsets or cardboard etc.
Currently we study the impact of this VR intervention on neural, phenomenological and behavioral representations, and whether it can promote conflict reduction.
- February 1st 2022: Congratulations to Annika for winning the doctoral grant from the Finnish Cultural Foundation!!
- Check out our call for contributions for the Special Issue on "Magnetoencephalography for Social Science"!
- Check out our call for contributions for the Special Issue on "Virtual Reality and Empathy"!
- Levy J, Goldstein A, Influs M, Masalha S, Feldman R (2022) Dialogue Intervention for Youth amidst Intractable Conflict Attenuates Neural Prejudice Response and Promotes Adults' Peacemaking. PsyArXiv, https://psyarxiv.com/2x389/
- Turk E, Endevelt-Shapira Y, Feldman R, van den Heuvel MI* & Levy J* (2022) Brains in sync: Practical guideline for parent-infant EEG during natural interaction. Frontiers in Psychology 13:833112. (* shared last authorship). https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2022.833112
- Turk E, Vroomen J, Fonken Y, Levy J* & van den Heuvel MI* (2022) In sync with your child: The potential of parent-child EEG in developmental research. Developmental Psychobiology 64(3) e22221. (* shared last authorship) http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/dev.22221
Van Bavel, J.J., Cichocka, A., Capraro, V. et al. (2022) National identity predicts public health support during a global pandemic. Nature Communications 13: 517. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-27668-9
- Adler, Hebel-Sela, Adomi Leshem, Levy* & Halperin* (2022) A social virus: Intergroup dehumanization and unwillingness to aid amidst COVID-19 - Who are the main targets? International Journal of Intercultural Relations. (* shared last authorship) https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijintrel.2021.11.006
- Zebarjadi N & Levy J (2021) Neural shifts in alpha rhythm's dual functioning during empathy. Brain and Behavior. Registered-report (Stage 1 acceptance).
- Zebarjadi N, Adler E, Kluge A, Jääskeläinen IP, Sams M, Levy J (2021) Rhythmic neural patterns during empathy to vicarious pain: Beyond the Affective-Cognitive Empathy dichotomy. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. 15:708107. doi:10.3389/fnhum.2021.708107
- Levy J, Bader O (2020). Graded Empathy: A Neuro-Phenomenological Hypothesis. Frontiers in Psychiatry - Social Cognition. 11:554848. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2020.554848
Statement & Bio
What drives my work in science is the passion to investigate phenomena from multiple perspectives, and merging them into novel representations. I foremost love using MEG in cojunction with various humanistic and technological approaches.
My first passion is rooted in the relations between our brain and our subjective-experience (during my PhD) and our social behaviour (during my postdoc). My second passion in life has been the relations between social groups: growing up as European and Israeli, receiving my academic education in three different continents, obtaining my PhD in a Dutch-French co-tutelle, and now directing a Finnish-Israeli lab. Thus, leading multilevel investigations on multiple social groups excites my scientific intellect.