Abigail Marsh asks essential questions: If humans are evil, why do we sometimes go to extraordinary lengths to help others even at a cost to ourselves?

Why you should listen

How do we understand what others think and feel? An associate professor in the department of psychology and the interdisciplinary neuroscience program at Georgetown University, Abigail Marsh focuses on social and affective neuroscience. She addresses questions using multiple approaches that include functional and structural brain imaging in adolescents and adults from both typical and non-typical populations, as well as behavioral, cognitive, genetic and pharmacological techniques. Among her ongoing research projects are brain imaging and behavioral studies of altruistic kidney donors and brain imaging studies of children/adolescents with severe conduct problems and limited empathy.

Marsh's 2017 book The Fear Factor: How One Emotion Connects Altruists, Psychopaths, and Everyone In-Between explores the extremes of human generosity and cruelty.

Abigail Marsh’s TED talk

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Live from TEDSummit 2016

A legacy that will outlive us: Notes from Session 1 of TEDSummit

June 27, 2016

TEDSummit is a gathering of TED’s tribes — our speaker community, volunteer translators, TED Fellows, TEDx organizers, partners and  more. In Session 1, we shared mainstage talks that sparkled with optimism for humanity — now and deep into our unknown future. Ideas that stand the test of time. TED’s curator, Chris Anderson, opened TEDSummit with a throwback […]

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