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TEDxBrainport 2011 - Margriet Sitskoorn - Why can we ignore people in need?

When Margriet Sitskoorn realised she had ignored a homeless man shivering in the snow while walking back to her hotel after a conference, she felt guilty. How could she have let that happen? In her search for an anwer, she turned to science and discovered two things: the mimicing nature of our brains and a mysterious region called the mPFC (medial pre forntal cortex). Togther, they are at the base of some of our best abilities -- feeling empathy with others -- and our worst -- commiting horrible crimes against humanity. Positive as she is, she combined this knowledge and calls upon us with an ambitious, but at the basis extremely simple, dream: "Let us simply try to put ourselves in other people's shoes and see how it affects both their and our lives."When Margriet Sitskoorn realised she had ignored a homeless man shivering in the snow while walking back to her hotel after a conference, she felt guilty. How could she have let that happen? In her search for an anwer, she turned to science and discovered two things: the mimicing nature of our brains and a mysterious region called the mPFC (medial pre forntal cortex). Togther, they are at the base of some of our best abilities -- feeling empathy with others -- and our worst -- commiting horrible crimes against humanity. Positive as she is, she combined this knowledge and calls upon us with an ambitious, but at the basis extremely simple, dream: "Let us simply try to put ourselves in other people's shoes and see how it affects both their and our lives."
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