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The Brain Confuses "Me" and "We"

Posted by on Sep. 5, 2013 at 1:43 PM
  • 25 Replies

The Human Brain Confuses ‘Me’ And ‘We’

A new study done by the University of Virginia has stated that the human brain is wired to make connection with people, to the point that when someone we love is in pain, we will feel that same pain.

Most of us are familiar with empathy, the ability to feel what other’s feel, but this study shows that the human brain can’t differentiate between what happens to friends/family and ourselves.

How does one test this? Test subjects were put in a fMRI machine and were threatened to be electrocuted. The spikes in brain activity were monitored and recorded and then the researchers threatened to electrocute a stranger and a friend.

The research showed that when a stranger was threatened, almost no response was recorded. However, when a friend was threatened, the brain scans showed identical results to when the test subjects were threatened. This shows that humans don’t just empathize with loved ones, they literally feel their pain.

Basically, the tests show that humans can ‘sync up’ with other humans that they care for and trust. Studies show that humans can carry 150 stable relationships with fellow humans, and trying to add more to that can lead to one losing a sense of self.

Individuals start to identify with others more than figuring out who they are, and when they lose someone, it hurts more than a well-balanced individual.

NATION

Do you find yourself being empathetic to people you don’t know very well?


http://sourcefednews.com/the-human-brain-confuses-me-and-we/



by on Sep. 5, 2013 at 1:43 PM
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Replies (1-10):
Sisteract
by Whoopie on Sep. 5, 2013 at 2:26 PM
1 mom liked this

IMO, empathy is much like patience- some people have it and others do not.

I'll freely admit that patience is not my strong point, but I am empathetic to almost a fault. I try very very hard to put myself in the shoes of others before I open my trap.  I also hold my tongue if I think another might be hurt by my words.

little.worthen
by Tess on Sep. 5, 2013 at 2:32 PM

im more like the opposite. i have a lot of patients to deal with people but i'm not quick to be empathetic to strangers. people i know and family is totally different for me though which is why i found this article interesting.

Quoting Sisteract:

IMO, empathy is much like patience- some people have it and others do not.

I'll freely admit that patience is not my strong point, but I am empathetic to almost a fault. I try very very hard to put myself in the shoes of others before I open my trap.  I also hold my tongue if I think another might be hurt by my words.


JackandJayne
by on Sep. 5, 2013 at 2:32 PM

I think it's completely voluntary. If someone really wanted to harden themselves and become sociopaths, they could do it and never feel for someone else. But I believe we choose to open ourselves up to other people's emotions. Some people are more emotionally independent than others. Pretty pointless study IMO. 

supercarp
by Silver Member on Sep. 5, 2013 at 2:32 PM

I have always been a good listener but in recent years I have learned to protect myself more when a friend or acquaintance unloads their problems on me. I guess I can't take as much as I used to. When My kids or siblings face adversity it does really hurt me.

PinkButterfly66
by Gold Member on Sep. 5, 2013 at 2:36 PM
1 mom liked this

I would be the one whose brain scan would sync up with the person being threatened I've always been empathetic, from a very young age.

little.worthen
by Tess on Sep. 5, 2013 at 2:38 PM

i think conciously you're right but this study is more to interpret our natural unconcious reactions.

Quoting JackandJayne:

I think it's completely voluntary. If someone really wanted to harden themselves and become sociopaths, they could do it and never feel for someone else. But I believe we choose to open ourselves up to other people's emotions. Some people are more emotionally independent than others. Pretty pointless study IMO. 


JackandJayne
by on Sep. 5, 2013 at 3:22 PM

Lol I still think its a waste of time and money. What did they uncover? I don't get exactly what the big discovery is? I love my mother, father, children, and I've chosen to allow myself to attach to them. Therefore my reaction to their pain, is pain on myself. For a stranger off of the street, I will be sympathetic and try to help, but I don't feel their pain unless I choose to open up and force myself to feel that empathy. I figure that would be common knowledge.

We already knew the definition of empathy was to FEEL the pain of others. The article is worded obscurely as if empathy didn't already mean FEELING what others are feeling.

Quoting little.worthen:

i think conciously you're right but this study is more to interpret our natural unconcious reactions.

Quoting JackandJayne:

I think it's completely voluntary. If someone really wanted to harden themselves and become sociopaths, they could do it and never feel for someone else. But I believe we choose to open ourselves up to other people's emotions. Some people are more emotionally independent than others. Pretty pointless study IMO. 



Devious333
by Bronze Member on Sep. 5, 2013 at 3:24 PM
1 mom liked this
I'm naturally empathetic. I do feel for people I don't know.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
little.worthen
by Tess on Sep. 5, 2013 at 3:40 PM

i think it was just to look deeper into how much empathy. the article says that your brain cant differentiate between it happening to you and happening to say your spouse. i think its interesting that our brains trick themselves into literally feeling the same things the other person is going through.

it shows that the human brain is wired to connect with others so strongly that we literally share experiences. the study also shows that even empathetic people are neurally incapable of even generating anything even close to that level of empathy for strangers.

i dont think it was a wasted study. it was done at a university as well so its not like the government wasted resources to do it.

Quoting JackandJayne:

Lol I still think its a waste of time and money. What did they uncover? I don't get exactly what the big discovery is? I love my mother, father, children, and I've chosen to allow myself to attach to them. Therefore my reaction to their pain, is pain on myself. For a stranger off of the street, I will be sympathetic and try to help, but I don't feel their pain unless I choose to open up and force myself to feel that empathy. I figure that would be common knowledge.

We already knew the definition of empathy was to FEEL the pain of others. The article is worded obscurely as if empathy didn't already mean FEELING what others are feeling.

Quoting little.worthen:

i think conciously you're right but this study is more to interpret our natural unconcious reactions.

Quoting JackandJayne:

I think it's completely voluntary. If someone really wanted to harden themselves and become sociopaths, they could do it and never feel for someone else. But I believe we choose to open ourselves up to other people's emotions. Some people are more emotionally independent than others. Pretty pointless study IMO. 




Sisteract
by Whoopie on Sep. 5, 2013 at 3:57 PM
1 mom liked this

And I'd say it's an overall positive phenomenon. 

Otherwise,  we slip down the hierarchy...

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