In the Brain, Empathy and Analysis May Be Mutually Exclusive – Psych Central News

Functional magnetic imaging has allowed researchers to view the brain as it struggles to multi-task empathetic feelings and analytical thoughts.


An individual’s moral compass can be compromised when a person becomes stuck in the analytical cycle. However, the opposite can happen as well with an individual presenting a proclivity for empathy without an ability to perform analytical decision-making.


In the study, Case Western Reserve University researchers found that when the brain activates neurons to allow us to empathize, it suppresses the brain network used for analysis. On the flip side, when the brain activates neurons to allow analytical thought processes, empathic pathways are subdued.


This finding may help to explain decisions that on second glance seem illogical and/or insensitive.


By RICK NAUERT PHD Senior News Editor