Do You Cry Easily? You May Be a ‘Highly Sensitive Person’ – HSPs are more empathic

Brain-scan studies of HSPs show differences in their neural activity, compared with non-HSPs: HSPs are more empathic, pay closer attention to their environment and are more attentive to social clues from their close friends and partners….

Highly sensitive people showed more activation of their primitive reward system, compared with non-HSPs, when looking at photos of their partner smiling. Another area of the brain concerned with empathic responses was more active when they looked at both happy and sad photos.

The researchers believe this shows that HSPs are more empathic and feel happier when they see their partner happy. “They think more deeply about things,” says Lucy Brown, clinical professor of neurology at Einstein College of Medicine in New York and a researcher on the study.

Elizabeth Bernstein