Department of Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering

Empathy Building Neuro-lab

Empathy is the ability to feel and understand each other. Empathizing is particularly challenging when the target is a member of a different social group. In our lab we use multiple tools (neuroscience, social psychology, political psychology, virtual-reality, philosophy and arts) to investigate empathy and perspective-taking and to foster them.
enb merged
During two annual Midsummer meetings!
Illustration by Yoni Levy; the “Virtual Reality” icon by Nikita Kozin is taken from (CC attribution), and slightly modified.

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


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. 

Lab Director

 Jonathan (Yoni) Levy

Jonathan (Yoni) Levy

Visiting Professor (Aalto uni.) & Assistant Professor (Bar-Ilan Uni.)


 Niloufar Zebarjadi

Niloufar Zebarjadi

Doctoral candidate (Aalto uni.) | empathy, neurodevelopment, intergroup relations
 Annika Kluge

Annika Kluge

Doctoral candidate (Aalto uni.) | interventions, intergroup relations
 Eli Adler

Eli Adler

Doctoral candidate (The Hebrew uni. of Jerusalem & Aalto uni.) | interventions, intergroup relations, politics, media, empathy.
 Faraz Roshanizand

Faraz Roshanizand

Masters student (Uni. of Helsinki) | Neuro-education, intergroup relations, empathy
 Niko Somila

Niko Somila

Masters student (Aalto Uni.) | Neuro-politics, political polarization, neural alignment.


Mirja Inkinen

Masters student (Uni. of Helsinki) | phenomenology, intergroup relations, empathy

Annika Hautala

Masters student (Aalto uni.) | Intergroup relations, empathy,covid19 attitudes

Iida Hakulinen

Research assistant

Yarden Marom

Research assistant

Tommi Arffman

Research assistant

Elise Turk


Jenni Vuorinen

Research assistant (Master level)

Fu Wenli

Masters - Special Assignment

Ivan Perez


Emma Tonteri

Research assistant

Elisa Koch

PhD candidate

Sarah Kline

Masters student
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