The neuroscience of restorative justice

Daniel Reisel has spent a lot of time studying psychopaths (specifically murderers) in order to determine what neurological changes allow them to act without feeling or concern. Research indicates that psychopaths have a deficit in the amygdala, a brain region responsible for empathy. As a result, they lack the ability to feel for others. In … Read moreThe neuroscience of restorative justice

Why aren’t we more compassionate?

In this TED talk, Daniel Goleman, psychologist and author of Emotional Intelligence, discusses our natural propensity for compassion. He explains how we have “mirror neurons” which automatically allow us to feel “with” someone and make compassionate choices. However, in order to do this successfully, it is imperative that we are able to focus less on … Read moreWhy aren’t we more compassionate?

The Resilience Portfolio Model

The Resilience Portfolio Model examines the protective factors and processes that promote resilience in children and adults who have been exposed to violence. There is a large body of research revealing common themes that have allowed people to maintain or regain healthy brain functioning following exposure to violence. Scientists have classified these factors into assets, … Read moreThe Resilience Portfolio Model

Neuropsychology of Violence

This review compiles recent studies, offering several explanations for abusive violence. The authors investigated the patterns of neuropsychological deficits in men who committed violent acts against women. They identified several potential causes for neuropsychological impairments, such as alcohol abuse or traumatic brain injury. That said, it is often difficult to determine which parts of the … Read moreNeuropsychology of Violence

Carol Dweck TED talk: The power of believing that you can improve

Carol Dweck is a revolutionary researcher interested in motivation and how we can foster success. In this talk, she discusses how changing your mindset can enable success. According to Dr. Dweck, two primary mindsets operate when starting a challenge. Someone with a fixed mindset has been taught that intelligence is concrete, while someone with a growth … Read moreCarol Dweck TED talk: The power of believing that you can improve

Thomas Insel TED talk: Toward a new understanding of mental illness

In this TED talk,Thomas Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, reflects on how significant strides in brain health can be made. Though we have had significant progress over the last few decades in our knowledge and treatment of heart disease, AIDS, leukemia, and stroke, we have made little progress in effectively treating “mental … Read moreThomas Insel TED talk: Toward a new understanding of mental illness

Nadine Burke Harris TED talk: How childhood trauma affects health across a lifetime

In this compelling TED talk, pediatrician Nadine Burke Harris demonstrates how a single exposure that, in high doses, affects brain development, the immune system, hormonal systems, and even gene expression. In high doses, it can lead to an increased risk of heart disease and lung cancer, as well as a 20-year decrease in life expectancy. What … Read moreNadine Burke Harris TED talk: How childhood trauma affects health across a lifetime

The Avielle Foundation’s viewing of ‘Inside Out’

This week, members of the TAF team went to see the Disney Pixar movie Inside Out. Everyone loved the movie and agreed with the film’s lessons about social and emotional learning. The movie tells the story of a girl named Riley, who moves from Minnesota to San Francisco, along with the personified emotions in her … Read moreThe Avielle Foundation’s viewing of ‘Inside Out’

compassion and empathy in the brain: not the same (research study)

Empathy and compassion are similar, of course, but not the same. Empathy is “putting yourself in someone else’s shoes,” such as feeling pain or sadness in response to someone else’s suffering. Compassion, however, is translating this experience of another person’s suffering into action in order to improve their situation, to alleviate their suffering. This study demonstrated the difference … Read morecompassion and empathy in the brain: not the same (research study)

Gary Slutkin TED talk: Let’s treat violence like a contagious disease

In Dr. Gary Slutkin’s TED talk, he proposes that we treat violence the same way we treat any other contagious disease. Dr. Slutkin founded Cure Violence in 2000, following a decade of overseas work as an epidemiologist whose goal was to reduce the spread of infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, cholera, and AIDS. Hoping to avoid … Read moreGary Slutkin TED talk: Let’s treat violence like a contagious disease