Why do not only understand how others feel but also care about what they feel? We vicariously activate brain regions involved in our own actions, sensations and emotions while we witness those of others. Here I will present data from human neuromodulation studies that show that this brain activity influences how we perceive what others feel and how much we are willing to do to make them feel better. To gain more mecanistic insights into what happens affective brain regions such as the cingulate while processing the emotions of others, I will present data from rodent studies in which we find mutual emotional contagion between a rat experiencing adverse events and one witnessing the events. I will show how manipulating brain activity in the cingulate alfters emotional contagion, while recordings show that some of the neurons involved in the rat’s own pain become reactivated while it winesses the pain of others. This provides evidence for a mirror neuron like mechanism for emotions.
Building: Bâtiment Duclaux
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