Thursday, March 11, 2010
Biological explanation for compassion?
We all wince at a brutal foul on the football (soccer) field and feel compassion for someone experiencing grief. Many studies have suggested that our capacity for empathy arises from a specific group of neurons, labelled mirror neurons. First discovered in macaque monkeys, they are situated in and around the premotor cortex and parietal lobe - regions that span the top of the brain near the middle of the head. These neurons fire both when you perform an action and when you see someone else perform that action. New Scientist