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"And the stars are projectors, yeah, projecting our lives down to this planet Earth." - Modest Mouse


2.23.2004

Empathy 

Imaging neuroscientists at University College London have shown that the empathetic feeling of another's pain elicits the same mechanism as if the pain were being experienced first-hand.
The team first delivered an electric shock to the hands of 16 women, and observed their brain activity using a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scan...They then delivered an electric shock to the hand of each woman's partner instead...the researchers found that the womens' brains still lit up in the same emotional areas as when their own hand was being shocked.
It remains to be determined what the evolutionary benefit of this mechanism is for humans, but perhaps it's simply a by-product of being alive and conscious in a social community. It seems evident that our bonds run much more deeply than we often presume.

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