The Neuroscience of Empathy

Neuroscientists identify specific brain areas linked to compassion.


Are some people born with a brain that is wired to be more empathetic? Can compassion be learned? What daily habits or life experiences reinforce selfishness, narcissism, and at a far extreme psychopathy?


Last night, I listened to an interview with Madonna and Anderson Cooper talking about the importance of teaching our children to be able to empathize and to not be complacent about fighting against oppression and inequality. Two studies in the past month have identified specific brain regions linked to empathy and compassion.


This morning, a new study was released by the Max Planck Institute for Human and Cognitive Brain Sciences that revealed the neurobiological roots of how our own feelings and experiences can distort someone’s capacity for empathy. 


by Christopher Bergland