Strangers Spot People With Compassionate Genes in Seconds | Genetic Mutation, Oxytocin Receptor & Empathy | LiveScience

A genetic variation in the oxytocin (the love hormone) receptor seems to cause behavioral differences between people.

 

Heike Tost, a researcher from the Central Institute of Mental Health in Germany who wasn’t involved in the study, believes the results are exciting but agrees with Kogan that empathy is a complicated behavior regulated by more than one factor: “We as individuals don’t wear our ‘social genotype’ on the sleeve,” she told LiveScience in an email. “One of these single variants will neither make us sick nor decide whether we act like ‘saints or satans’ toward fellow human beings.”

 

This study was published today (Nov. 14) in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

 

Jennifer Welsh