HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Brain can be trained in c...

Fri Jun 19, 2015, 02:51 PM

Brain can be trained in compassion, study shows



Brain can be trained in compassion, study shows


Until now, little was scientifically known about the human potential to cultivate compassion — the emotional state of caring for people who are suffering in a way that motivates altruistic behavior.

A new study by researchers at the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds at the Waisman Center of the University of Wisconsin-Madison shows that adults can be trained to be more compassionate. The report, recently published online in the journal Psychological Science, is the first to investigate whether training adults in compassion can result in greater altruistic behavior and related changes in neural systems underlying compassion.


"Our fundamental question was, 'Can compassion be trained and learned in adults? Can we become more caring if we practice that mindset?'" says Helen Weng, a graduate student in clinical psychology and lead author of the paper. "Our evidence points to yes."

In the study, the investigators trained young adults to engage in compassion meditation, an ancient Buddhist technique to increase caring feelings for people who are suffering. In the meditation, participants envisioned a time when someone has suffered and then practiced wishing that his or her suffering was relieved. They repeated phrases to help them focus on compassion such as, "May you be free from suffering. May you have joy and ease."

Participants practiced with different categories of people, first starting with a loved one, someone whom they easily felt compassion for like a friend or family member. Then, they practiced compassion for themselves and, then, a stranger. Finally, they practiced compassion for someone they actively had conflict with called the "difficult person," such as a troublesome coworker or roommate.

"It's kind of like weight training," Weng says......

http://www.news.wisc.edu/21811


How People With Higher Moral Reasoning and Kindness Have Different Brains


Altruism, compassion, and an advanced evaluation of morally complex situations have effects not only in an ideological sense, but also physiologically—in the brain.

Increased Gray Matter
People with a higher level of moral reasoning showed increased gray matter in parts of the brain related to social behavior, decision making, and conflict processing, according to a study published on June 3 in the journal PLOS ONE.

The study, conducted by researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, used the stages of moral reasoning described by American psychologist Lawrence Kohlberg (1927–1987). Test subjects, totaling 67, were asked to evaluate complex moral dilemmas such as medical assisted suicide, and choose the relevance of 12 given rationales. This determined where each subject fit in Kohlberg’s stages of moral reasoning.

They then underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to compare and contrast the volume of gray matter in their brains.

“Further research will be needed to determine whether these changes are the cause or the effect of higher levels of moral reasoning,” said senior author Hengyi Rao, Ph.D., a research assistant professor of cognitive neuroimaging at the Perelman School of Medicine, in a news release.

Compassion Training Alters Neural Responses
People who have practiced becoming more compassionate show increased activity in parts of the brain involved in empathy and understanding others, as well as parts involved in emotion regulation and positive emotions......


http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/1387549-how-people-with-higher-moral-reasoning-and-kindness-have-different-brains/




High Levels of Moral Reasoning Correspond with Increased Gray Matter in Brain

New science from Penn scientists and business scholars aims to link moral reasoning with brain architecture

PHILADELPHIA – Individuals with a higher level of moral reasoning skills showed increased gray matter in the areas of the brain implicated in complex social behavior, decision making, and conflict processing as compared to subjects at a lower level of moral reasoning, according to new research from the Perelman School of Medicine and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in collaboration with a researcher from Charité Universitätsmediz in Berlin, Germany. The team studied students in the Masters of Business Administration (MBA) program at the Wharton School. The work is published in the June 3rd edition of the journal PLOS ONE.......................................\\

http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/news/News_Releases/2015/06/rao/


Kohlberg’s stages of moral reasoning.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_Kohlberg's_stages_of_moral_development

http://www.simplypsychology.org/kohlberg.html


I posted this study on the 10th of june in science
We can teach humans be better humans so that it even changes their brains for the betterment of themselves and others with no chemicals added.

I thought it needed to be seen again in GD in light of the recent history









3 replies, 501 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 3 replies Author Time Post
Reply Brain can be trained in compassion, study shows (Original post)
Ichingcarpenter Jun 2015 OP
dgibby Jun 2015 #1
Ichingcarpenter Jun 2015 #2
woodsprite Jun 2015 #3

Response to Ichingcarpenter (Original post)

Fri Jun 19, 2015, 02:57 PM

1. If this is the case,

then taking this training should be mandatory for all republicans.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to dgibby (Reply #1)

Fri Jun 19, 2015, 03:03 PM

2. Actually mental training should be started early

such as mindfulness and other practices and be included in one;s education and then we wouldn't end up with republicans.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to dgibby (Reply #1)

Fri Jun 19, 2015, 04:23 PM

3. I was just thinking that....

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread