#34 The Brain Can’t Empathize and Analyze at the Same Time…

I am interested in empathy; I reel in horror anytime I see someone bleeding, I cry at all the sad parts of a film and I get a buzz from helping people or making them feel better, so I think I can feel what other people are feeling quite strongly. Most people feel some sort of empathy in social situations; it’s integral to understanding each other and communicating. It led me to this interesting picture and article.

“The study was inspired by one of the eternal philosophical questions surrounding the nature of cosciousness: Why can we describe the workings of a brain, but that doesn’t tell us what it’s like to be that person?”

“In this study we see neural inhibition between the entire brain network we use to socially, emotionally and morally engage with others, and the entire network we use for scientific, mathematical and logical reasoning.”

“The researchers suggest their ideas are particularly relevant to development disabilities such as autism and Williams syndrome. For instance autistic people tend to be very good at solving visuospatial problems, but have poor social skills. And people with Williams syndrome are the other way around: they come across as warm and friendly, but don’t do well on visuospatial tests.”

Written by Catharine Paddock PhD


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