Understanding empathy: a global perspective

Imagine – while eating lunch, you observe that a spider is slowly crawling across a friend’s forearm. Immediately, your own arm tingles uncomfortably, but when you briefly glance downwards, no such spider is crawling up your own arm. Your mind has seemingly tricked your body into experiencing the sensation. Or, you are visiting a hospital nursery, and one newborn begins to cry. Immediately, and for no apparent reason, other babies respond to the first child’s cries with cries of their own. Soon, the nursery is overwhelmed by distressed babies….

Recent discoveries have led to the discovery of neurons that may contribute to empathy in social interaction. These cells, referred to as “mirror neurons,” fire when an individual observes somebody executing an action, resulting in the individual experiencing the process vicariously … 

by Emily Wang