Turns Out Empathy is Contagious

Is empathy contagious? Turns out it is.

 

That may be hard to believe. Especially at this time of year, when frantic shoppers cut lines to snag deals and even the good folk at the Salvation Army fall prey to thieving employees.

 

But, in fact, empathy is part of our anatomy. It’s just that, like a muscle, it needs to be flexed. Scientists have already identified “mirror neurons” — soft-wiring that compels us to feel what others are feeling. When someone else yawns, we yawn. When another suffers, we suffer, too. But now, neuro-researchers have discovered a second empathy highway.

 

by Liza Finlay