Empathy Reduces the Effects of Pain

Empathy can be an effective tool for reducing pain, according to results from a placebo analgesia study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

The researchers were able to determine that participants who experienced placebo analgesia reported decreased empathy for pain. These results were linked to reduced engagement of the brain region associated with shared activations of both pain and empathy.

… “The present results show that empathy is strongly and directly grounded in our own experiences – even in their bodily and neural underpinnings,” Lamm concluded.

Rachel Lutz