On this episode of Curiosity Cake podcast I explore the links between our experience of pain, and our experience of empathy with psychology and social neuroscience PhD researcher Helena Hartmann.
Helena investigates why and how we feel other people's pain in our own brain, aka empathy, and how this is connected to our own pain processing. She started her undergraduate degree in 2014 at the University of Vienna and has also completed an MSc there before beginning her PhD. She is in the 3rd year of her doctorate.
Her interests include:
You can find out more about Helena and her work at the following:
Helena uses a combination of fMRI brain scans, subject self-reporting and skin conduction in subjects to measure pain and empathy responses.
Almost the exact same areas of the brain are active when observing someone else in pain as are active when imaginging osmeone else in pain.
Functional magnetic resonance imaging allows Helena to see where blood flows in the brain during experiments which may indicate which parts of the brain are responsible for empathy.