scorecardresearch
Follow Us:
Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Emotional brains physically different from rational ones, reveals study

They examined the extent to which grey matter density in 176 participants predicted their scores on tests that rated their levels for cognitive empathy compared to affective or emotional empathy.

By: Press Trust of India | Melbourne |
June 20, 2015 4:52:52 pm
brains, human mentality, physical structure of brain, mental brain, rational brain, types of empathy, different physical structures of brains, human tendencies, human thinking process, Psychological Sciences,  grey matter density in brain, grey matter of brain, health news, research news, latest news, science news The study looked at whether people who have more brain cells in certain areas of the brain are better at different types of empathy.(Source: wikiHow)

Researchers have found physical differences in the brains of people who respond emotionally to others’ feelings, compared to those who respond more rationally.

The study looked at whether people who have more brain cells in certain areas of the brain are better at different types of empathy.

[related-post]

The work, led by Robert Eres from the Monash University’s School of Psychological Sciences, pinpointed correlations between grey matter density and cognitive and affective empathy.

Best of Express Premium

A G Perarivalan writes: My hope was my mother… the life-saving plan...Premium
Why was Deepika Padukone dressed in sofa upholstery at Cannes?Premium
UPSC CSE Key – May 18, 2022: What you need to read todayPremium
Explained: The content and scope of Article 142, invoked by Supreme Court...Premium

“People who are high on affective empathy are often those who get quite fearful when watching a scary movie, or start crying during a sad scene. Those who have high cognitive empathy are those who are more rational, for example a clinical psychologist counselling a client,” Eres said.

The researchers used voxel-based morphometry (VBM) – a neuroimaging analysis technique that allows investigation of focal differences in brain anatomy, using the statistical approach.

They examined the extent to which grey matter density in 176 participants predicted their scores on tests that rated their levels for cognitive empathy compared to affective or emotional empathy.

The results showed that people with high scores for affective empathy had greater grey matter density in the insula, a region found right in the ‘middle’ of the brain.

Those who scored higher for cognitive empathy had greater density in the midcingulate cortex – an area above the corpus callosum, which connects the two hemispheres of the brain.

“Taken together, these results provide validation for empathy being a multi-component construct, suggesting that affective and cognitive empathy are differentially represented in brain morphometry as well as providing convergent evidence for empathy being represented by different neural and structural correlates,” researchers said.

The discovery raises new questions – like whether peoplecould train themselves to be more empathic, and would those areas of the brain become larger if they did, or whether we can lose our ability to empathise if we don’t use it enough.

“In the future we want to investigate causation by testing whether training people on empathy related tasks can lead to changes in these brain structures and investigate if damage to these brain structures, as a result of a stroke for example, can lead to empathy impairments,” said Eres.

For all the latest Lifestyle News, download Indian Express App.

  • Newsguard
  • The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.
  • Newsguard
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement