Empathy on the mind

12 March 2012

Prof Jean DecetyThe way we're wired: US academic Prof Jean Decety is working with a UCT group studying empathy in post-apartheid South Africa.

Prof Jean Decety of the University of Chicago, US, a leading scholar on the social neuroscience of empathy, recently visited UCT as a guest of the departments of psychology and psychiatry and the Brain Behaviour Initiative.

Decety, who also delivered an open lecture here, forms part of a group, led by UCT researchers, investigating the enduring and cross-generational effects of apartheid.

The study, which was pioneered by psychology lecturer Assoc Prof Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, aims to unravel empathy at a neural level, using psychophysiological and neuroimaging techniques.

The study will draw on the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings.

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