Stitch + CHeBA Lecture Series: Empathy and Genetics

This is the second presentation in the Stitch + CHeBA Lecture Series, presented by Russell Chander from CHeBA. This is a recording of Russell’s presentation to the Stitch Community held on the 18th of August 2020. Empathy is an important…

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This is the second presentation in the Stitch + CHeBA Lecture Series, presented by Russell Chander from CHeBA. This is a recording of Russell’s presentation to the Stitch Community held on the 18th of August 2020.

Empathy is an important skill that is needed for humans to navigate social environments and interact with others. Yet, for something so crucial and commonplace, there seems to be an enormous amount of variability in how much empathy different people possess.

Genetics has been proposed as a cause for this variability, but just how influential is it? This talk will describe what empathy is, why it is so important to society, and discuss some of this interesting genetic research on empathy. This CHeBA Stitch Lecture Series presentation aims to get the Stitch community thinking about how much (if at all) our genetics determine the kind of person we are and how social connectedness can have a role to play in our empathic abilities.

Russell Chander is currently researching his Psychiatry PhD at CHeBA, supported by the UNSW Scientia PhD Scholarship program. Russell graduated from the University at Buffalo (Singapore) with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Communications and worked as a Clinical Research Assistant at the National Neuroscience Institute in Singapore prior to joining CHeBA. His research interests include the social cognition of older adults, how this relates to genetics, hormonal responses, neuroimaging markers, and risk of cognitive decline. His thesis has predominantly drawn from the data of CHeBA’s Sydney Memory and Ageing Study and the Sydney Centenarian Study.

You can learn more about CHeBA here:
https://cheba.unsw.edu.au/

If you would like to join the CHeBA interest group in Stitch, you can do so here:

https://www.stitch.net/app/group/686076/australia-sydney/centre-for-healthy-brain-ageing

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