Stress Affects our Ability to Empathize: ‘Mice and humans show similar empathy patterns under stress’

Intuitively, we know that people under severe stress don’t pay much attention to the problems of others, particularly to the problems of people whom they don’t know. This concept was put to the test by Canadian scientists.

In their recent article published in the Journal Current Biology, they report that both humans and mice show decreased empathy to strangers when subjected to a stress….

Mice and humans show similar empathy patterns under stress

Researchers have done more detailed studies on the connection between stress and empathy in experiments on mice. In a similar approach, they blocked the stress hormone in mice with a drug and observed a much more empathic response towards the pain of a stranger mouse compared to what would be normally observed when the drug is not given.

 W. Wlassoff, PhD