How curious the researchers are to know how the human brain thinks and handles emotions. Various patterns that are found through scans deliver various conclusions.
Researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder explained how they created brain markers that can guess the intensity of the empathy that exists in two forms. The research also revealed that brain markers for empathic distress and empathic care further link to another 8 different feelings. In a published paper, the team operating on the subject clarified that how debating it was to identify the dissimilarity between empathic care and empathic distress
Some have disagreed that empathic distress—the negative approach that occurs in reaction after witnessing the suffering of others—is a restraint because it leads to grief and evasion. On the other hand, compared to empathic care it brings out helpful behavior.
Some others claim that empathic distress results in burnout in case of caring professions, while fulfillment and unrelenting functioning is generated through empathic care. This study states that empathic care and empathic stress engage different brain system for their functioning.
Research notes that there is one thing that needs to be cleared is can these two types of empathy mapped precisely in the form of two different patterns. And if it can, it has to be known that if the pattern predicts these two different emotions in different personalities.
Thus to identify these queries, researchers team decided to deal with these points and invited 66 adult volunteers to hear 24 true stories of people who were in upsetting circumstances as they went through the brain scans, based on which their feelings were rated.
The researchers stated that their method was realistic and more similar to what we might witness in our daily routine. One of the stories that were played for participants included a tale of a boy staying in boarding school suffering from addiction who gets help to come out from the addiction and help others to do the same.
Researchers played the stories of distress in two sessions. In the first session, the volunteers were made to sit inside a scanner and their brain activity was recorded using MRI, and in the second session participants listened to stories sitting outside the scanner, to rate the distressing feeling.
As a result, during empathy, the activity of the brain was seen all over the brain and activity wasn’t limited to one region of the brain.
It was also identified that there were two different patterns of empathic care and empathic distress. Moreover, empathic care occurred in ventromedial prefrontal cortex and orbitofrontal cortex, and the empathic distress was seen in primary and secondary somatosensory cortices and premotor cortex.