The Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (http://ccare.stanford.edu/), a program of the Stanford Institute for Neuro- Innovation & Translational Neurosciences (SINTN), has taken on the mission of not only scientifically studying the neural, mental, and social basis of compassion and altruistic behavior, but also exploring testable cognitive and affective training exercises through which individuals and societies can learn to employ these complex behaviors.
As mentioned on their website, the The Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education‘s goals is: to create a community of scholars and researchers, including neuroscientists, psychologists, neuroeconomists, and contemplative scholars. Drawing from these different disciplines, investigators at the center will strive to gain a deep understanding of compassion and its associated human behaviors in all their richness. An important aspect of CCARE will be to critically engage with Buddhist and other contemplative traditions that contain a rich mental taxonomy and, more importantly, clearly delineate mental cultivation techniques aimed at developing and enhancing specific qualities of the human mind and heart.
The vision for CCARE is to:
– Use rigorous scientific methods to define the neural basis for compassion and altruistic behavior
– Serve as a major hub for a scientific study of compassion and altruistic behavior both nationally and internationally
– Create tools to allow individuals to potentiate feelings of compassion and altruism
– Encourage and support collaborative research on compassion among a variety of disciplines
– Disseminate research findings on an international scale using a number of media forums