The Neuroscience of Empathy

Empathy is an individual ability, one that resides inside the person. When you model empathetic behaviors, it means that others are more likely to adopt these behaviors themselves. Empathy allows for rapport. However, Rapport can only arise between people and emerges through their interactions. Two or more independent brains don’t necessarily react consciously or unconsciously to each other, but the individual minds become in a sense fused into a single system. The system of brain interconnectedness relies upon specific neural circuitry and related endocrine systems which inspire others to engage with you. Your brain contains neurons that are important in empathy by helping to create an instant sense of shared experience. Very mirror neurons, which mirror and mimic what another person does and feels. oscillators, which coordinate you physically with another person by regulating when and how your body moves to be in tune with another, an unconscious feeling of resonance of spindle cells, which are involved in your intuition and rapidly assess your judgments and beliefs about whether to trust the other person in conjunction with other intuitive measures. This interface of mine is a stabilizing mechanism from outside both of you and emerges as you interact. The way that it works means that you cannot be emotionally stable on your own. It’s not that you should or shouldn’t be stable on your own, but without this stabilizing effect of the interface. You can’t be the deep consequences that through the sum total of our interactions, we create each other.