Emile G. Bruneau

Learn More
The brain mechanisms involved in processing another's physical pain have been extensively studied in recent years. The link between understanding others' physical pain and emotional suffering is less well understood. Using whole brain analysis and two separate functional localizers, we characterized the neural response profiles of narrative scenarios(More)
Despite its early origins and adaptive functions, empathy is not inevitable; people routinely fail to empathize with others, especially members of different social or cultural groups. In five experiments, we systematically explore how social identity, functional relations between groups, competitive threat, and perceived entitativity contribute to(More)
The modern socio-political climate is defined by conflict between ethnic, religious and political groups: Bosnians and Serbs, Tamils and Singhalese, Irish Catholics and Protestants, Israelis and Arabs. One impediment to the resolution of these conflicts is the psychological bias that members of each group harbor towards each other. These biases, and their(More)
People are often called upon to witness, and to empathize with, the pain and suffering of others. In the current study, we directly compared neural responses to others' physical pain and emotional suffering by presenting participants (n = 41) with 96 verbal stories, each describing a protagonist's physical and/or emotional experience, ranging from neutral(More)
Brain regions in the "pain matrix", can be activated by observing or reading about others in physical pain. In previous research, we found that reading stories about others' emotional suffering, by contrast, recruits a different group of brain regions mostly associated with thinking about others' minds. In the current study, we examined the neural circuits(More)
In contexts of cultural conflict, people delegitimize the other group's perspective and lose compassion for the other group's suffering. These psychological biases have been empirically characterized in intergroup settings, but rarely in groups involved in active conflict. Similarly, the basic brain networks involved in recognizing others' narratives and(More)
Dehumanization is a central concept in the study of intergroup relations. Yet although theoretical and methodological advances in subtle, "everyday" dehumanization have progressed rapidly, blatant dehumanization remains understudied. The present research attempts to refocus theoretical and empirical attention on blatant dehumanization, examining when and(More)
Although the act of dehumanizing an outgroup is a pervasive and potent intergroup process that drives discrimination and conflict, no formal research has examined the consequences of being dehumanized by an outgroup-that is, "metadehumanization." Across 10 studies (N = 3,440) involving several real-world conflicts spanning 3 continents, we provide the first(More)
Functional localizer tasks allow researchers to identify brain regions in each individual's brain, using a combination of anatomical and functional constraints. In this study, we compare three social cognitive localizer tasks, designed to efficiently identify regions in the "Pain Matrix," recruited in response to a person's physical pain, and the "Theory of(More)