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  1. Sharee N. Light, James A. Coan, Corrina Frye & Richard J. Davidson, Empathy Is Associated With Dynamic Change in Prefrontal Brain Electrical Activity During Positive Emotion in Children.
    Empathy is the combined ability to interpret the emotional states of others and experience resultant, related emotions. The relation between prefrontal electroencephalographic asymmetry and emotion in children is well known. The association between positive emotion (assessed via parent report), empathy (measured via observation), and second-by-second brain electrical activity (recorded during a pleasurable task) was investigated using a sample of one hundred twenty-eight 6- to 10-year-old children. Contentment related to increasing left frontopolar activation (p < .05). Empathic concern and positive empathy (...)
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  2. Jonathan Haidt & James A. Coan, Viewing Cute Images Increases Behavioral Carefulness.
    Infantile physical morphology—marked by its “cuteness”—is thought to be a potent elicitor of caregiving, yet little is known about how cuteness may shape immediate behavior. To examine the function of cuteness and its role in caregiving, the authors tested whether perceiving cuteness can enhance behavioral carefulness, which would facilitate caring for a small, delicate child. In 2 experiments, viewing very cute images (puppies and kittens)—as opposed to slightly cute images (dogs and cats)—led to superior performance on a subsequent fine-motor dexterity (...)
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  3. James A. Coan, Lane Beckes, Karen Hasselmo & Joseph P. Allen (forthcoming). Childhood Maternal Support and Neighborhood Quality Moderate the Social Regulation of Neural Threat Responding in Adulthood. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.
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  4. Erin L. Maresh, Lane Beckes & James A. Coan (2013). The Social Regulation of Threat-Related Attentional Disengagement in Highly Anxious Individuals. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 7.
  5. James A. Coan (2010). Emergent Ghosts of the Emotion Machine. Emotion Review 2 (3):274-285.
    Competing perspectives on the nature of emotion are illustrated with latent and emergent variable models. Latent variable models draw from classical test theory, assuming that the measured indicators of emotion covary by virtue of some common executive, organizing neural circuit or network in the brain. By contrast, emergent variable models draw from a theory-driven, operational definition tradition, positing that emotions do not cause, but rather are caused by, the measured indicators of emotion, assuming no executive neural circuit or network, and (...)
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  6. James A. Coan (2010). What We Talk About When We Talk About Emotion. Emotion Review 2 (3):292-293.
    In this article I respond to commentaries of my review of latent versus emergent variable models of emotion. I note that Ross Buck’s view of emotion as stated in his commentary largely endorses an emergent variable model. Drawing from Dynamical Systems Theory, Camras frames the emergent variable model as softly-assembled attractor states. This implies that emotions are “fuzzy sets” of indicators that vary in the degree to which they indicate an emergent emotional state. Calvo offers affective computing as a method (...)
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  7. James A. Coan (1997). Lost in a Shopping Mall: An Experience with Controversial Research. Ethics and Behavior 7 (3):271 – 284.
    In the 16th century Bruno asserted that the earth revolves around the sun. This notion violated the Catholic Church's teaching that the earth was the center of the universe, and his suggestion proved he was a heretic. He was promptly burned at the stake. One hundred years later Galileo said the same thing, and provided evidence. He was forced to recant his views, but he gave the world telescopes so that people could learn for themselves. Today, his assertion is held (...)
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  8. James A. Coan (1997). Perspectives: Lost in a Shopping Mall: An Experience with Controversial Research. Ethics and Behavior 7 (3):271 – 284.
    In the 16th century Bruno asserted that the earth revolves around the sun. This notion violated the Catholic Church's teaching that the earth was the center of the universe, and his suggestion proved he was a heretic. He was promptly burned at the stake. One hundred years later Galileo said the same thing, and provided evidence. He was forced to recant his views, but he gave the world telescopes so that people could learn for themselves. Today, his assertion is held (...)
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