The Mind-Reading Hormone: Your Brain’s Key to Empathy

A study in the journal Biological Psychiatry shows that mind-reading can be improved with a dose of oxytocin—a brain chemical often called the ‘love hormone’ because of its role in trust, friendship and bonding. Your ability to read emotional cues in someone’s eyes boosts along with your oxytocin levels. This may offer insight into Autism Spectrum Disorders, characterized by both deficits in empathy and lower levels of oxytocin.

 

Researchers at Rostock University, led by Gregor Domes, tested 30 males’ mind-reading ability—how well they could infer the mental state of another person—after either a dose of oxytocin or a placebo.

 

By Joshua Gowin.