Study: Neural responses to ingroup and outgroup members’ suffering predict individual differences in costly helping

“Football fans activate their own pain related brain regions less when they witness the pain of fans of other teams then when they witness the pain of fans of their own team. Importantly, the level of vicarious pain activation predicts whether they will help the other person by taking some of the pain onto themselves. This modulation of empathy sheds interesting light onto the dynamics behind Hooligans. Its not that they lack empathy, but that they identify so strongly with their team, that this downregulates empathy strongly for the other team’s fans. It outlines how dangerous strong group-identity can be for peace.”