Testosterone Decreases The Ability To Feel Empathy By Interrupting Brain Networks

Whenever there’s a quarrel, fist-fight or bar brawl, testosterone usually has something to do with it. Famous for fuelling aggression, this male sex hormone is the prime suspect behind the human tendency towards antagonism, and with good reason.

 

According to a new study in the journal Psychoneuroendicinology, testosterone reduces connectivity in brain regions responsible for feeling empathy towards others and incorporating this sentiment into our decision-making.

Led by scientists from Utrecht University, the researchers sought to build on previous studies in which women were found to outperform men on tasks designed to measure empathetic capabilities. During these studies, participants were subjected to the Reading the Mind in Eyes Tests (RMET), in which the emotions and motives of others must be determined simply by looking at a picture of their eyes.

 

by Ben Taub