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How we respond to each other's pain

Posted by Sharon W on 3/25/03 at 13:23 (114498)

It seems our brains react similarly when we see someone else get hurt, or are hurt ourselves.

This may help to explain the special bond that many of us feel for others who have the same painful foot problems. It's empathy. But I do think the article left out one thing. Almost everyone has stubbed their toe, at one time or another -- it's much harder to empathize with something you have never experienced. For example, we have experienced foot pain ourselves, and so we empathize with it when it happens to someone else...


Here's the link (from Reuters Health, By Alison McCook ), followed by a few quotes:


A couple of quotes, to give you an idea what they're talking about:

'Researchers at Stanford University in California obtained their findings from studying people's brain activity while they watched videos of other people being hurt, such as clips of sporting injuries or car crashes.'

'The authors found that similar areas of the brain were activated both when people watched another person getting hurt and when they, themselves, experienced modest pain during a subsequent experiment.'

'What we found in this study is that there is a common overlap in the way that we, as humans, perceive pain, as well as how we perceive pain in other people...when they are hurt,' study author Dr. Sean Mackey told Reuters Health.'

'It is this empathy that binds all of us together in society and allows us to feel how other people are feeling so that we can better understand their intentions and actions,' Mackey said.'

Re: How we respond to each other's pain

Sharon W on 3/25/03 at 13:32 (114499)

The problem with foot pain, of course, is that it it's NOT like a car crash or sports injury where everyone else can see and understand (or at least imagine) that it would be terribly painful. I think that is why others who have not experienced something like this just don't seem to understand...