Navigation Links
USC researchers explore the source of empathy in the brain
Date:7/15/2011

Your brain works hard to help understand your fellow person no matter how different they may be.

According to a new study from USC, even failing to possess a full complement of limbs will not stop your brain from understanding what it is like for someone else to experience pain in one of them. It may, however, change the way your brain does so.

In a paper published online by Cerebral Cortex, USC researcher Lisa Aziz-Zadeh furthered her ongoing work in mapping out the way the brain generates empathy, even for those who differ physically from themselves.

According to Aziz-Zadeh's findings, empathy for someone to whom you can directly relate or example, because they are experiencing pain in a limb that you possess is mostly generated by the intuitive, sensory-motor parts of the brain. However, empathy for someone to whom you cannot directly relate relies more on the rationalizing part of the brain.

Though they are engaged to differing degrees depending on the circumstance, it appears that both the intuitive and rationalizing parts of the brain work in tandem to create the sensation of empathy, said Aziz-Zadeh, assistant professor at USC's Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy.

"People do it automatically," she said.

In an experiment, Aziz-Zadeh and a team from USC showed videos of tasks being performed by hands, feet, and a mouth to a woman who had been born without arms or legs and also to a group of 13 typically developed women. Videos showed activities such as a mouth eating and a hand grasping an object.

Researchers also showed videos of pain, in the form of an injection, being inflicted on parts of the body.

While the participants watched the videos, their brains were scanned using functional magnetic imaging (fMRI), and then those scans were compared, revealing the differing sources of empathy.

In an additional finding, Aziz-Zadeh discovered that when the congenital amputee viewed videos of tasks being performed that she could also perform but using body parts that she did not have, the sensory-motor parts of her brain were still strongly engaged. For example, the participant can hold objects, but uses a stump in conjunction with her chin to do so rather than a hand.

If the goal of the action was impossible for her, then another set of brain regions involved in deductive reasoning were also activated.


'/>"/>

Contact: Robert Perkins
perkinsr@usc.edu
213-740-9226
University of Southern California
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. NC State researchers get to root of parasite genome
2. Researchers find animal with ability to survive climate change
3. Researchers find an essential gene for forming ears of corn
4. Researchers note differences between people and animals on calorie restriction
5. Researchers study acoustic communication in deep-sea fish
6. Researchers discover that growing up too fast may mean dying young in honey bees
7. Researchers study how pistachios may improve heart health
8. UI researchers find potentially toxic substance present in Chicago air
9. Researchers develop new self-training gene prediction program for fungi
10. Case Western Reserve University researchers track Chernobyl fallout
11. Childrens National researchers develop novel anti-tumor vaccine
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/13/2017)... According to a new market research report "Consumer IAM Market ... Authorization), Service, Authentication Type, Deployment Mode, Vertical, and Region - Global Forecast ... from USD 14.30 Billion in 2017 to USD 31.75 Billion by 2022, ... ... MarketsandMarkets Logo ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... 11, 2017 NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ:   ... announces the appointment of independent Directors Mr. Robin D. ... Board of Directors, furthering the company,s corporate governance and expertise. ... Gino Pereira , ... forward to their guidance and benefiting from their considerable expertise ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... , April 4, 2017 KEY FINDINGS ... to expand at a CAGR of 25.76% during the ... is the primary factor for the growth of the ... https://www.reportbuyer.com/product/4807905/ MARKET INSIGHTS The global stem ... technology, application, and geography. The stem cell market of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/20/2017)... ... July 20, 2017 , ... VIC Technology Venture ... the company’s board of directors. This addition continues to strengthen and diversify VIC’s ... Goforth, CEO and Chairman. “He is a highly accomplished business executive with a broad ...
(Date:7/18/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... July 18, 2017 , ... ... that accelerate pharmaceutical and biotherapeutics development, announces the launch of a new NTA ... biosensor chip enables researchers to study the kinetics of polyhistidine-tagged (His-tagged) molecules quickly ...
(Date:7/18/2017)... ... July 18, 2017 , ... Allotrope Foundation ... the first phase of the Allotrope Framework for commercial use. , The Bio-IT ... to “not only elevate the critical role of information technology in modern biomedical ...
(Date:7/17/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... July 17, 2017 , ... ... equipment and analytical instruments announced the launch of its new line of Heavy-Duty ... orbital shaker models (both analog and digital) for laboratory applications. These shakers ...
Breaking Biology Technology: