Testosterone may reduce empathy by reducing brain connectivity

High levels of testosterone may reduce empathy by interfering with communication between parts of the brain involved in emotion, according to a study to be published in the journal Psychoneuroendicinology.

 

There is a large body of scientific research linking testosterone, a hormone produced in larger quantities by men’s bodies and in smaller quantities in women’s bodies, with impairment in the ability to cognitively process emotional information. This applies particularly processes related to empathy, the ability to correctly identify another person’s emotional state based on cues like facial expression and body language. Women perform consistently better at tasks requiring empathy than men.

 

BY DAVID HAYWARD