Sunday, July 17, 2011


A study has mapped out the way the brain generates empathy, even for those who differ physically from themselves.
USC researcher Lisa Aziz-Zadeh found that empathy for someone to whom one can directly relate, for example, because they are experiencing pain in a limb that one possesses, is mostly generated by the intuitive, sensory-motor parts of the brain.
However, empathy for someone to whom one cannot directly relate relies more on the rationalizing part of the brain.
Aziz-Zadeh, assistant professor at USC’s Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, said though they are engaged to differing degrees depending on the circumstance, it appears that both the intuitive and rationalizing parts of the brain work in tandem to create the sensation of empathy.
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