Specific Brain Region Tied to Empathy

An international team of researchers has demonstrated, for the first time, that a particular area of the brain — called the anterior insular cortex — is where human empathy originates.


“Now that we know the specific brain mechanisms associated with empathy, we can translate these findings into disease categories and learn why these empathic responses are deficient in neuropsychiatric illnesses, such as autism,” said Patrick R. Hof, M.D., a professor in the Department of Neuroscience at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York.


Reviewed by John M. Grohol