Neuroscience of Empathy

“Feelings of empathy may seem subtle and personal, but this study, which used stories of human hardship to inspire feelings of empathic care and distress, found that the brain patterns associated with these feelings are consistent and predictable across individuals. image is for illustrative purposes only.”

Empathy, the ability to understand and share the feelings of another, is a key part of how we connect emotionally with others. Recent Neuroscience research suggests that the different feelings associated with empathy involve distinct patterns of brain activity. Contrary to popular thought, the patterns of brainwaves associated with empathy are not located to just one part of the brain.  In fact, when participants reported feeling empathy for another person, brain activity was spread throughout the brain and involved multiple regions.  For further reading, click here for the article.

Further Reading

Interested in empathy? Click here to watch  Brene Brown, LMSW, explain some of her groundbreaking research in empathy via a short cartoon.