Science Podcasts

Special episode

Mon, 22nd Aug 2016

Empathy speeds up learning

subgenual_anterior_cingulate_cortex_crop (c) Patricia Lockwood

Although empathy is often associated with traits like helpfulness and generosity, not a lot is known about how helpful behaviour and empathy might be linked in the brain. Now, scientists have pinpointed part of the brain thought to drive us to learn how to be more helpful.  The findings also suggest that people with higher levels of empathy are quicker to learn what they need to do to help. Patricia Lockwood and her team measured participantsí brain activity  in an MRI scanner while they tried to win money - either for themselves, or for another person, as she explained to Laura Brooks...

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