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Dr. Richard Davidson - The Emotional Life of Your Brain

At a time when economies are failing around the world, gun violence is tearing through the headlines, and people are taking advantage of storm ravaged areas, it's hard to find and extend compassion for those around you.

WAMC partnered with the Poughkeepsie Public Library District and American Public Media for a project called ‘building common ground: conversations about compassion, civility and community’.

Acclaimed author and religious historian Karen Armstrong asks people...

"to look into your own heart, discover what gives you pain, and then refuse under any circumstance whatsoever to inflict that pain on anyone else."

On the scientific side, is the study of how compassion is mapped in our brains. WAMC's Katie Britton spoke with Dr. Richard Davidson, the author of The Emotional life of your Brain, and for over three decades, has been studying how the brain’s unique patterns affect the way we think, feel and live – and how we can change them. Dr. Davidson tells us that feelings like empathy, compassion and optimism are genetic and learned.

If you would like to tell us how you remain compassionate in 2012, you can find our Public Insight Network query here.

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