Empathy is More Common in Animals Than Originally Thought

Researchers have been working on a brand new study based on prairie voles actually consoling their loved one who are feeling stressed, and based on the results of this study, it appears that the infamous “love hormone,” called oxytocin, is the underlying mechanism.


Up until now, we have only been able to document the consolation behavior in a few non-human species that typically have higher levels of cognition and sociality, such as dogs, dolphins, and elephants.

For this particular study, the prairie vole were used and were able to show researchers that they are particularly social rodents, which causes them to be the focus of multiple studies in this field.


This data led James Burkett, along with his colleagues, to vastly explore their potential for empathy-motivated behaviors