James Doty Rich1

The Neuroscience of Empathy and Compassion in Times of Uncertainty and Change

The nature of our evolution as a species is that we seek consistency, calmness or an environment in which we know the rules. As such, this engages our rest and digest mode by increasing the tone of the parasympathetic nervous system. When this occurs we are more discerning in our decision making, we are more open to the other and our physiology works at its best. While ultimately control is an illusion, this illusion serves the purpose of decreasing fear and anxiety.

In uncertain situations, the illusion is broken and results in engagement of our sympathetic nervous system commonly known as our flight, fight or freeze response. In this situation, we are fearful and anxious resulting in us being in survival mode limiting our choices and not being open to others or their opinions. Our physiology in this situation results in the release of various chemical and neurotransmitters that on a short term basis are helpful but long term are deleterious to our health.

By understanding how our brains work in such situations, we can learn techniques that allow us to remain calm in the storm while still being able to be empathetic and compassionate to others.

July 8
10am PACIFIC TIME
Join Us From Your Computer
The Neuroscience of Empathy and Compassion in Times of Uncertainty and Change, Free Webinar
Program Language:  English

Your Speaker:


James R. Doty, MD, is a clinical professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at Stanford University School of Medicine. He is also the founder and director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University of which His Holiness the Dalai Lama is the founding benefactor. He works with scientists from a number of disciplines examining the neural bases for compassion and altruism.

Dr. Doty attended U.C. Irvine as an undergraduate, received his medical degree from Tulane University and completed neurosurgery residency at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Dr. Doty served 9 years on active duty in the U.S Army attaining the rank of major. He completed fellowships in pediatric neurosurgery and electroneurophysiology.

He is an inventor, entrepreneur and philanthropist. He holds multiple patents and is the former CEO of Accuray (ARAY:NASDAQ). Dr. Doty has given support to a number of charitable organizations supporting peace initiatives and providing healthcare throughout the world. Additionally, he has supported research, provided scholarships and endowed chairs at multiple universities.

He is the New York Times bestselling author of Into the Magic Shop: A Neurosurgeon’s Quest to Discovery the Mysteries of the Brain and the Secrets of the Heart now translated into 31 languages. Dr. Doty is also the senior editor of the recently released Oxford Handbook of Compassion Science.

Toward Our New Reality

This webinar is part of our Toward Our New Reality Speaker Series which focuses on cultivating the essential emotional intelligence skills we need to move forward together SIYLI’s CEO Rich Fernandez will be hosting leading experts in the fields of mindfulness, emotional intelligence, resilience, leadership and neuroscience.

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