May boost neural basis of empathy

Excerpt from ScienceDaily (Oct. 4, 2012). A compassion-based meditation program can significantly improve a person’s ability to read the facial expressions of others, finds a study published by Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. This boost in empathic accuracy was detected through both behavioral testing of the study participants and through functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans of their brain activity.

… The meditation protocol, known as Cognitively-Based Compassion Training, or CBCT, … [is] derived from ancient Tibetan Buddhist practices, [but] secular in content and presentation. … When most people think of meditation, they think of a style known as “mindfulness,” in which practitioners seek to improve their ability to concentrate and to be non-judgmentally aware of their thoughts and feelings. While CBCT includes these mindfulness elements, the practice focuses more specifically on training people to analyze and reinterpret their relationships with others.

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