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Posted by on Oct 31, 2012 in Science |

Scientists say that we can be empathetic and analytical while

Scientists say that we can be empathetic and analytical while

(C) CBS / Warner Bros

According to a study by academics at the Case Western Reserve University , when the brain operates the network of that allows us to empathize, or our ability to appreciate the human cost of our actions, while suppressing the neural network we need to analyze a task, and vice versa.

In other words, the study demonstrated for the first time that our brains have integrated a restriction disables us to be empathetic and analytical at the same time. That is, operate in a similar manner when one sees these typical illusions showing an image that could be, for example a vase or two people looking face to face. The brain can not see both images at once, or interpreted as silhouettes, or as a vase.

To prove recruited 45 volunteers and observed with a MRI scanner while they were asked to solve problems related to physical and feelings of others. The images showed that when solved social problems, disabled brain areas associated with testing, and when solved physics problems, disabled areas related to empathy.

The discovery would mean major implications in the treatment of various neuropsychiatric disorders such as anxiety, depression or schizophrenia. “Treatments need to balance these two neural networks. Currently rehabilitation, and education in general focuses on refining analytical networks, although there are more cortex devoted to social networks,” said Anthony Jack, the team leader academics.

“One can not live without both networks,” says Jack. “It is inappropriate to favor one over the other, but alternate between both efficiently and occupy the right network at the right time.”

Between fMRI Reveals reciprocal inhibition cognitive social and physical domains (NeuroImage)
Empathy Represses Analytic Thought, and Vice Versa: Brain Physiology Limits Simultaneous Use of Both Networks (Science Daily)

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