The Brain, Mind and Consciousness laboratory is part of the Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence and the Department of Philosophy at Case Western Reserve University. The Brain, Mind and Consciousness laboratory conducts research in collaboration with the Department of Organizational Behavior in the Weatherhead School of Management, the SMART center in the School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University, and the Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence.

We are located here on the campus of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

Research

The Brain, Mind and Consciousness laboratory is focused on investigating Empathy and the tension between Analytic and Empathic thinking in the brain. The laboratory’s work is strongly interdisciplinary, lying at the intersection of Philosophy, Psychology, Neuroscience and Organizational Behavior. The laboratory has published in top journals associated with each of these disciplines.

The Brain, Mind and Consciousness laboratory works on a variety of phenomena, including: ethics/moral reasoning, the philosophical problems of consciousness and free will, spirituality/religious belief, physical and psychological health, leadership/management and coaching.

The Brain, Mind and Consciousness laboratory’s central intellectual contribution has been to develop a theory which originates in philosophy, has been tested and validated by work cognitive neuroscience, and which contributes to psychological theory. According to this theory, humans have evolved two neurally distinct and antagonistic modes of thinking: analytic reasoning, built on the evidence of the senses, and empathetic understanding, built on internal information (emotional and visceral awareness). At the core of empathetic understanding lies our capacities for intersubjectivity (understanding human experience) and ethical awareness. Key concepts associated with this theory are the Phenomenal Stance, the Opposing Domains Hypothesis and Opposing Domains Theory. Opposing Domains Theory provides a neuroscience informed extension and update to Dual Process Theory – one of psychology’s best known and most widely applied theories.