The Neuroscience of Empathy and Inter-Group Conflict
We examine the neurobiological basis of human empathy in children, adolescence, and adults and address behavioral aspects of cognitive and affective empathy across multiple contexts: in the parental brain, between romantic couples, among strangers, and as a marker of resilience
For over two decades, we have examined developmental and neuroscience aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, providing a detailed developmental follow-up of parenting, family relationships, and child social adaptation and aggression in young children growing in Israeli and Palestinian families.
We developed and implemented the Tools of Dialogue© – an eight-week group intervention for Israeli and Palestinian youth. In a randomized control trial we provided the intervention to mixed groups of Israeli and Palestinian 16-18 year olds, and found that the Tools of Dialogue© intervention altered attitudes toward conflict, social behavior toward outgroup members, oxytocin and cortisol production, and the neural basis of empathy and prejudice.