Methylation of the oxytocin gene OXT was associated with maternal personal distress, resulting in harsher parenting. OXT methylation was also negatively correlated with gray matter in the right inferior temporal gyrus.
Playing with dolls as a small child helps develop social skills and empathy. Doll play activates the posterior superior temporal sulcus, an area of the brain associated with social processing and behaviors.
Children who experience the death of a pet may experience long-lasting and profound grief, which could lead to subsequent mental health problems. Researchers found strong emotional attachment to a pet may result in measurable psychological distress that serves as an indicator of depression in children and adolescents for three years or more after their animal dies.
Study reveals binge drinking is associated with more widespread neural dysfunction than previously believed. In those who binge drink, the visual areas of the brain show unusually high levels of activation. Additionally, those who binge drink have more difficulty in feeling empathy for others.
Coercion to perform detrimental actions against others reduces empathy and guilt, a new study reports. The findings may explain why people are able to commit immoral acts that go against their ethical stance when coerced.
Using scenes from movies, researchers discover how different brain areas can be used flexibly and as needed. The study sheds light on how the brain transitions between moral thinking and empathy.
Study reveals two different brain structures are implicated in implicit and explicit theory of mind, and both regions mature at different ages to fulfill their function. The supramarginal gyrus matures earlier, enabling theory of mind to occur slightly earlier than believed. Full ability for theory of mind occurs at age four when the temporoparietal junction matures.
Rats show altruistic behavior and avoid harming other rats. Researchers report harm aversion is deeply engrained in our biology. The findings pave the way to increasing harm aversion in those with empathy disorders, such as psychopathy and sociopathy.
Taijin-kyofusho, a form of social anxiety disorder characterized by a fear of causing others discomfort as a result of the sufferer's behavioral reactions, is linked to hypersensitivity of the emotional states of others and an inability to identify emotional context.