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Symposium 2015

Virtual Library File - Video: The Neuroscience of Compassion

The Challenge

How can the communities of people around the globe be induced to become more caring, not just within the social groups from which they derive their identities, but also across these groups? As the w ...

How can the communities of people around the globe be induced to become more caring, not just within the social groups from which they derive their identities, but also across these groups? As the world's problems - from climate change to financial crises - become more global in reach, how can people's domain of altruism be extended accordingly? What concrete steps can be taken across countries and cultures to strengthen the bonds of cooperation and weaken the forces of conflict?

In this video, Tania Singer talks about a unique large-scale longitudinal research project she conduced, “The ReSource Project” and what its findings can imply for improving global cooperation. The ReSource Project instructed participants in different forms of mental training. The training consisted of three modules: The first trained the awareness for the self and the presence, the second trained perspective taking with different individuals and the third aims to train prosocial motivations. The ReSource Project aimed at investigating the effects of this training on attentional, cognitive and affective functioning, plasticity of the brain, the autonomic nervous system, but also on subjective well-being, health, stress responsivity, social intelligence, emotion regulation, prosocial behavior and cooperation. This training shows great promise in fostering global cooperation, overcoming the negative aspects of in-group / out-group distinctions on a global scale and tus resolve global conflicts.