Ability To Literally Imagine Oneself In Another’s Shoes May Be Tied To Empathy

New research indicates the way our brain handles how we move through space — including being able to imagine literally stepping into someone else’s shoes — may be related to how and why we experience empathy toward others.


The research was recently published in the online scientific journal PLoS One.

Empathy involves, in part, the ability to simulate the internal states of others. The authors hypothesized that our ability to manipulate, rotate and simulate mental representations of the physical world, including our own bodies, would contribute significantly to our ability to empathize.