Dr. Jeffrey S. MogilThe PhysOrg article Mice Capable of Empathy said
A new study by McGill University professor of psychology Dr. Jeffrey Mogil shows that the capacity for empathy, previously suspected but unproven even among higher primates, is also evident in lower mammals.
Professor Mogil, graduate student Dale Langford and their colleagues in the Pain Genetics Lab at McGill University discovered that mice that were co-housed (that is, familiar to each other) and able to see one another in pain were more sensitive to pain than those tested alone. The results, which for the first time show a form of “emotional contagion” between animals, shed light on how known social factors play a role in pain management.
The findings are not only unprecedented in what they tell us about animals, they may ultimately be relevant to understanding pain in humans. “Since we know that social interaction plays an important role in chronic pain behaviour in humans,” Dr. Mogil said, “then the mechanism underlying such effects can now be elucidated; why are we so affected by those around us?”
Jeffrey S. Mogil, Ph.D. is
E.P. Taylor Professor of Pain Studies,
Canada Research Chair in Genetics of Pain,
Dept. of Psychology and Centre for Research on Pain,
McGill University, Canada.
Jeff has made seminal contributions to the field of pain genetics and is the author of all major reviews of the subject, and edited the only textbook on this subject, The Genetics of Pain. He is also a recognized authority in the fields of sex differences in pain and analgesia, and algesiometric testing in the laboratory mouse.
He is the author of over 120 articles and book chapters since 1992, and has given over 120 invited lectures in that same period. He holds or has held funding from the U.S. National Institutes of Health, Canada Foundation for Innovation, Genome Canada, Neuroscience Canada and the pharmaceutical/biotech industry. He is Section Editor of Pain: The Journal of the International Association for the Study of Pain and holds the patent Opioid antagonists and methods of their use.
He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Neal E. Miller New Investigator Award from the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research (1998), the John C. Liebeskind Early Career Scholar Award from the American Pain Society (1998), the Patrick D. Wall Young Investigator Award from the International Association for the Study of Pain (2002) and the Early Career Award from the Canadian Pain Society (2004).
Jeff is earned a B.Sc. (Honors) in Psychology from the University of Toronto in 1988, and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from UCLA in 1993. After a postdoctoral fellowship in Portland, Oregon from 1993 to 1996, he joined the faculty of the Department of Psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He then moved to McGill University in 2001.
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