Navigation Links
Race and empathy matter on neural level
Date:4/26/2010

EVANSTON, Ill. --Race matters on a neurological level when it comes to empathy for African-Americans in distress, according to a new Northwestern University study.

In a rare neuroscience look at racial minorities, the study shows that African-Americans showed greater empathy for African-Americans facing adversity in this case for victims of Hurricane Katrina than Caucasians demonstrated for Caucasian-Americans in pain.

"We found that everybody reported empathy toward the Hurricane Katrina victims," said Joan Y. Chiao, assistant professor of psychology and author of the study. "But African-Americans additionally showed greater empathic response to other African-Americans in emotional pain."

The more African-Americans identified as African-American the more likely they were to show greater empathic preference for African-Americans, the study showed.

Initially, Chiao thought that both African-Americans and Caucasian-Americans would either show no pattern of in-group bias or both show some sort of preference.

The take-home point to Chiao: our ability to identify with another person dramatically changes how much we can feel the pain of another and how much we're willing to help them.

"It's just that feeling of that person is like me, or that person is similar to me," she said. "That experience can really lead to what we're calling 'extraordinary empathy and altruistic motivation.' It's empathy and altruistic motivation above and beyond what you would do for another human."

Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, the study included an equal number of African-American and Caucasian-American study participants. They were shown pictures depicting either African-American or Caucasian-American individuals in a painful (i.e. in the midst of a natural disaster) or neutral (attending an outdoor picnic).

"We think this is really interesting because it suggests mechanisms by which we can enhance our empathy and altruistic motivation simply by finding ways in which we have commonality across individuals and across groups," Chiao said.

Chiao, who works at one of only two labs in the world dedicated to cultural and social neuroscience, is particularly interested in how social identities related to gender or race modulate the biological process underlying feeling and reason. (The Web address for the Social and Cultural Neuroscience Lab at Northwestern is http://culturalneuro.psych.northwestern.edu/Lab_Website/Welcome.html).


'/>"/>

Contact: Hilary Hurd Anyaso
h-anyaso@northwestern.edu
847-491-4887
Northwestern University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. First Animated Instructional Oral Sex Video Reaches Mainstream America, Despite the Touchy and Controversial Subject Matter
2. Transparency Should Not Be a Luxury; It Is a Matter of Life and Death: What Purchasers and Consumers Can Do
3. Study finds reduced brain gray matter concentration in patients with severe obstructive sleep apnea
4. For the Knee, Shoes and Playing Surface Matter
5. Your Weight Matters Campaign Challenges the American Public to Talk to Their Doctor About Their Weight
6. Timing of Multiple-Ligament Knee Surgery May Not Matter
7. For Babies Sake, Pregnancy Spacing Matters
8. 3 brain diseases linked by toxic form of same neural protein
9. Neuralstem Receives Approval To Commence First ALS Stem Cell Trial at Emory ALS Center
10. Tests Show Top Tuna Brands Have High Mercury Levels
11. Peer Review Experts Have Weighed In ... WEIGHLEVEL Is a Proven Winner
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... ... “When the Stars Lead Home”: a poignant story of loss, determination, and ... Douglas, an avid reader who lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, daughter, ... Adventure Camp. She couldn’t be more grateful. , Twelve-year old Tizzy could not believe ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... 2017 , ... “Just What Happened in the Garden of Eden”: retells the stories of three ... the creation of published author, Penelope Colt, mother, trader, horse farmer, artist and a former ... she was three. At six, they moved to Dayton, Ohio, where Penny graduated high ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... BELLEVILLE, N.J. (PRWEB) , ... May 24, 2017 ... ... joined Clara Maass Medical Center CEO Mary Ellen, hospital employees, and town officials ... in Belleville. , The facility was developed by Rendina as part of its ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... ... 24, 2017 , ... Altec Products, Inc., a leader in enterprise ... one-day technology conference in San Diego, CA. , At nVerge 2017, Altec will ... utilize and enhance their Sage ERP solutions by providing improved visibility and control to ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... May 24, 2017 , ... Dr. Manju ... comfortable ClearCorrect orthodontics, with or without a referral. Dr. Kejriwal understands the ... she offers convenient, clear braces in Cincinnati, OH. Patients no longer need to feel ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/12/2017)... 2017  The China and Canada joint ... less water, energy and detergent, and features a powerful disinfection process. ... shoebox-sized washing machine that washes and sanitizes women,s panties or babies, ... ... and does not require an external water inlet. ...
(Date:5/10/2017)... Hologic, Inc. (Nasdaq: HOLX ) announced today ... ended April 1, 2017 .   GAAP diluted earnings ... the prior year period as the sale of the ... non-GAAP diluted EPS of $0.50 increased 6.4%.  Revenue of ... terms.  Excluding the effects of blood screening and the ...
(Date:5/10/2017)... , May 10, 2017  The Corporate Whistleblower ... employees of sleep therapy clinics to call us ... therapy clinic is involved in a substantial scheme ... in hearing from an employee of a medical ... a kickback scheme to provide medical practice groups with ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: