Department of Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering

Empathy Building Neuro-lab

One of civilization’s most important challenges is finding ways to foster empathy and to better understand each other.
Illustration by Yoni Levy; the “Virtual Reality” icon by Nikita Kozin is taken from thenounproject.com (CC attribution), and slightly modified.
Illustration by Yoni Levy; the “Virtual Reality” icon by Nikita Kozin is taken from thenounproject.com (CC attribution), and slightly modified.

In our lab, we study empathy in various social contexts: conflicts, politics, media, trauma and development. 

As illustrated in the figure here, (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. 

Students who are interested in joining the lab are most welcome to contact us.

International & national members

  • Elise Turk. Postdoctoral fellow at Tilburg University 
  • Eli Adler. Doctoral candidate at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem & Aalto University 
  • Mirja Inkinen. Masters student at the University of Helsinki
     

Link to full publication list (Google Scholar)

Representative publications

  1. 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

  2. Levy J, Lankinen K, Hakonen M, Feldman R (2020). The Integration of Social and Neural Synchrony; A Case for Ecologically-Valid Research Using MEG Neuroimaging. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. 1-10. https://doi.org/10.1093/scan/nsaa061

  3. Hasson Y, Shcori-Eyal N , Landau D, Hasler B, Levy J, Friedman D, Halperin E (2019) The Enemy's Gaze: Immersive Virtual Environments Enhance Peace Promoting Attitudes and Emotions in Violent Intergroup Conflicts. PLoS ONE. 14(9):e0222342. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0222342

  4. Levy J, Goldstein A, Feldman R (2019) The Neural Development of Empathy is Sensitive to Caregiving and Early Trauma. Nature Communications, 10 (1905). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-09927-y

  5. Levy J (2019) How Do the Brains of Children, Teenagers, and Adults Respond to Others’ Pain? Frontiers for Young Minds, 7:82. https://kids.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/frym.2019.00082

  6. Levy J, Goldstein A, Influs M, Masalha S, Zagoory-Sharon O, Feldman R (2016) Adolescents Growing Up amidst Intractable Conflict Attenuate Brain Response to Pain of Outgroup. PNAS USA, 113(48), 13696-13701. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1612903113

  7. Levy J, Vidal JR, Fries P, Demonet JF, Goldstein A (2016) Selective Neural Synchrony Suppression as a Forward Gatekeeper to Piecemeal Conscious Perception. Cerebral Cortex, 26(7), 3010-3022. https://doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhv114    

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