18 February 2019

Empathy expert Professor Christian Keysers on the underlying principles of Prompted Rationality

The Prompted Rationality program is proud to announce the second keynote speaker for the interdisciplinary seminar for scientists and policy makers on April 11, 2019: Professor Christian Keysers.

Keysers is Department Head at the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience, where he leads the Social Brain Lab. In addition, he is also full professor for social neuroscience at the University of Amsterdam. He is ranked amongst the top 1% most influential scientists based on citations, and obtained several prestigious grants.

Professor Christian Keysers. Photo: YouTube still

Mirror neurons

Professor Keysers is an internationally recognized scholar in social neuroscience with a training in the study of mirror neurons. He is the expert on the role of empathy in modern societies, and uses a combination of non-invasive neuroimaging in humans and invasive neurophysiology in animals. He studies the essence of how our own actions, sensations and emotions come to play to let us share and predict the actions, sensations and emotions of others. His research helps us understand the fabric of our social nature – empathy – and why some of are more likely to take the concerns of others into account than others.

The Empathic Brain

Keysers’ book The Empathetic Brain (2011) received universal praise. He won the gold medal for best science book, at the independent publisher’s book awards. While talking about the theme “Empathy is a Choice”, Keysers spoke on mirror neurons to Tegenlicht in 2018: 'Mirror neurons put you in someone else's shoes. This is a very powerful mechanism. It explains why images about children in war zones are very affecting. Without thinking about it, you also feel miserable.’

Mirror neurons put you in someone else's shoes. This is a very powerful mechanism. It explains why images about children in war zones are very affecting. Without thinking about it, you also feel miserable.

Prompted Rationality Seminar

During the seminar, Keysers will speak on Underlying principles of Prompted Rationality: Empathy and Embodied situated cognition. In addition, there will be reflections by the Prompted Rationality consortium, discussion with the audience and another keynote speech by Professor Ralph Hertwig of the Max Planck Institute for Human Development. Read more about Professor Hertwig here.

Interested in attending the seminar? Please register via this registration form (limited seats available).