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Keysers Group

Comparative Social Neuroscience

About the Keysers Group

Have you ever felt your heart racing while watching a thriller movie? Or felt sad when a character dies in a drama? If so, you have experienced the power of empathy: the ability to share and understand the emotions of others. But how does empathy work in the brain?

Our brains are equipped with special regions that allow us to empathize with others. These regions, known as ‘shared circuits’, activate both when we experience something ourselves and when we witness someone else having a similar experience. Whether it is an action, a sensation or an emotion, these shared circuits help us to imagine what it would be like to be in the other person’s shoes. Thanks to these brain regions, we can understand others not by rational thinking, but by intuitive feeling.

Christian Keysers‘ lab seeks to discover how the brain manifests empathy through the study of its neural basis. To achieve this, his lab utilizes cutting-edge methods to measure and manipulate the activity of brain regions that are involved in both feeling and observing emotions, sensations and actions in both humans and rodents.

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