Brain areas involved:
"Fellow feeling"; the ability to put oneself mentally and emotionally into another's shoes. Following one's impulse to help someone in need.
Friendship, anti-bullying, leadership, social action.
Anterior cingulate cortex, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, cerebellum and dorsal pons are implicated.
An awareness of others in trouble.
Neural systems supporting interoceptive awareness (Critchley et al., 2004)
Summary: People who scored high on an empathy questionnaire were better at timing their own heartbeats than low-scorers, indicating a connection between empathy and body-awareness.
Empathy and Judging Other’s Pain: An fMRI Study of Alexithymia (Moriguchi et al., 2007)
Summary: People who are disconnected from their own emotional feelings have difficulty relating to the feelings of others. Combined with the other study, it points to a deep connection between bodily and emotional self-awareness.
Effects of prosocial video games on prosocial behavior (Greitemeyer & Osswald, 2010)
Summary: People who played a game that required helpful actions to win for only 10 minutes were 3 times more likely to take helpful action when confronted with a situation in real life.
Sim Rescue, Sandman, Cyber Mice Party, R.I.F.T., Love's Arrow
Social Skills Forum
Cyber Mice Party
Help the mice get to the cheese.