Empathy neuron found in monkeys

Henry Evrard, a neuroanatomist at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Tubingen, Germany has discovered a neuron linked to empathy and self-awareness in the brains of macaque monkeys. The cell, called the von Economo neuron, is found in the anterior insular cortex, a small brain region that plays a crucial role in human self-awareness and related neuropsychiatric disorders. It was previously thought that only humans, great apes and large mammals with complex social lives possessed the cell.