Fourth International School On Mind, Brain And Education

2009, August 1-5

Educational Neurosciences
and Ethics

Directors: Antonio M. Battro and Kurt W. Fischer
Program officer: María Lourdes Majdalani

Abstract: Maki Koyama
New York University, USA

Brain mechanisms underlying empathy: from clinical perspectives
Empathy is the ability to share one’s own feelings and understand others’ emotion and feeling. Empathy to others is the key to ethical thoughts and behaviors in human society. Recent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has intensively investigated brain mechanisms underlying empathy. One way to understand neural correlates of empathy is identification of brain abnormalities in empathy disorders, characterized by reduced or lack of empathy. In this presentation, I will outline loci of brain dysfunction in a limited number of empathy disorders, such as autism spectrum disorders and personality disorders. In addition, ethics in fMRI applications to clinical populations are briefly discussed, together with a novel resting-state fMRI approach, applicable across age, ability and clinical levels.