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The Brain on Friends


If you remember brain researcher Jim Coan, it may be for his landmark study showing how people under threat do better when someone is, quite literally, holding their hand.

Those findings made big headlines a few years back.

Now Dr. Coan has gone deeper into our minds.

His latest research offers some intriguing insight into what your brain may be thinking about your friends.

Note: This is an encore broadcast, which originally aired September 9th, 2013.

James A. Coan, Ph.D. - Co-author of the new study, "Familiarity Promotes the Blurring of Self and Other in the Neural Representation of Threat" published in the August, 2013 issue of Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience.  Lead author of The Handbook of Emotion Elicitation and Assessment  [Oxford University Press, 2007].  Director of the Virginia Affective Neuroscience Laboratory as well as Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia.

Tom Graham was Senior Producer and host of WMRA's Virginia Insight from 2006 to 2015.