Empathy is the ability to feel or understand the experience of another person. What happens in our brains when we feel empathy for someone who is in pain? We showed teenagers pictures of different people in pain (for example, a person who accidentally hit his knee on a hard object) and used a machine that can measure the teenagers’ brains in action. The machine focused on an area in the brain that is responsible for empathy. The results showed that teenagers felt empathy toward people in pain, if those people were from the same background as the teenagers. But the teenagers felt less empathy toward people in pain who were from different backgrounds. These results are similar to the results of research on adults, which means that the empathy function in the brain is also working in teenagers. This study shows that science can be used to peek into the brains of teenagers to look at the brain activity that causes feelings of empathy in different situations.
|Original language||American English|
|Journal||Frontiers for young minds science edited for kids, by kids|
|State||Published - Oct 2017|