Emotional brains ‘physically different’ to rational ones

Researchers at Monash University have found physical differences in the brains of people who respond emotionally to others’ feelings, compared to those who respond more rationally, in a study published in the journal NeuroImage.

The work, led by Robert Eres from the University’s School of Psychological Sciences, pinpointed correlations between grey matter density and cognitive and affective empathy. The study looked at whether people who have more brain cells in certain areas of the brain are better at different types of empathy.

“People who are high on affective empathy are often those who get quite fearful when watching a scary movie, or start crying during a sad scene. Those who have high cognitive empathy are those who are more rational, for example a clinical psychologist counselling a client,” Mr Eres said.

The researchers used voxel-based morphometry (VBM) to examine the extent to which grey matter density in 176 participants predicted their scores on tests that rated their levels for cognitive empathy compared to affective – or emotional – empathy.

The results showed that people with high scores for affective empathy had greater grey matter density in the insula, a region found right in the ‘middle’ of the brain. Those who scored higher for cognitive empathy had greater density in the midcingulate cortex – an area above the corpus callosum, which connects the two hemispheres of the brain.

“Taken together, these results provide validation for empathy being a multi-component construct, suggesting that affective and cognitive empathy are differentially represented in brain morphometry as well as providing convergent evidence for empathy being represented by different neural and structural correlates,” the study said.

The findings raise further questions about whether some kinds of empathy could be increased through training, or whether people can lose their capacity for empathy if they don’t use it enough.

“Every day people use empathy with, and without, their knowledge to navigate the social world,” said Mr Eres.

“We use it for communication, to build relationships, and consolidate our understanding of others.”

However, the discovery also raises new questions – like whether people could train themselves to be more empathic, and would those areas of the brain become larger if they did, or whether we can lose our ability to empathise if we don’t use it enough.

“In the future we want to investigate causation by testing whether training people on empathy related tasks can lead to changes in these brain structures and investigate if damage to these brain structures, as a result of a stroke for example, can lead to empathy impairments,” said Mr Eres.

Sólo es fútbol. No podemos seguir buscando en el pasado. Jugando al fútbol no podemos vengar nada. Sólo darle una satisfacción a la gente, que el lunes irán a trabajar más contenta o más triste dependiendo del resultado

Javier Mascherano 

(“It’s just football. We can’t continue looking at the past. Playing football can not avenge anything. Just try and give satisfaction to the people who are either going to work on Monday happier or sadder depending on the outcome ”)

sylvestrium asked:

Women aren't as good at soccer as men and so not as many people watch women's soccer. Therefore, less advertising revenue and so less money to award winning teams. Please think about o look into things for more than five seconds before acting like everything is some grand patriarchal conspiracy to oppress women.

While I’m aware of the revenue business, I’m going to have to disagree with your first sentence. Women are not worse than men at soccer. Soccer is still soccer no matter who is playing. The women’s game just has little nuisances that are different than the men’s game. That doesn’t make them worse.

And that certainly doesn’t affect viewership. It’s the idea that women shouldn’t even be playing this sport that affects viewership. So the idea for this year is getting more publicity for the women’s game, which after this recent women’s World Cup, has already increased the viewership tenfold.

That still doesn’t mean they’re getting paid anymore huh? They’re pulling in more viewers worldwide, they’re selling out stadiums, nations are actually supporting them more now than ever before. But at the end of the day the men still deserve all of the money right? Because they’re better at soccer. At the end of the day most of the revenue made for this women’s World Cup will go to the men in the suits at FIFA to heighten the men’s game, just like the men’s World Cup revenue.

But hey. The women don’t play for the money anyway, I mean they don’t get paid enough to play so why should they really? They play because they love the game. The amount of love these women have for the game inspires young girls around the world to follow their dreams.

All I know in the men’s game is multimillion dollar trades here and there, comical (albeit annoying and unnecessary) diving, and a whole lot of whiny bitching when a call doesn’t go their way. But I guess because more people watch them, that means they deserve that money.

your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are, to Him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy—a thin veil to cover up crimes that would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation of the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of these United States at this very hour
—  Frederick Douglass, “The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro”

Stokely Carmichael explanation of why African Americans shouldn’t worry about whites’ issues before worrying about their own.

Facebook @ Power of Black Knowledge


In a Fourth of July holiday special, we begin with the words of Frederick Douglass. Born into slavery around 1818, Douglass became a key leader of the abolitionist movement. On July 5, 1852, in Rochester, New York, he gave one of his most famous speeches, “The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro.” He was addressing the Rochester Ladies Antislavery Society. This is actor James Earl Jones reading the speech during a performance of historian Howard Zinn’s acclaimed book, “Voices of a People’s History of the United States.” He was introduced by Zinn.

FREDERICK DOUGLASS: [read by James Earl Jones]

“Fellow-citizens, pardon me, allow me to ask, why am I called upon to speak here to-day? What have I, or those I represent, to do with your national independence? Are the great principles of political freedom and of natural justice, embodied in that Declaration of Independence, extended to us? And am I, therefore, called upon to bring our humble offering to the national altar, and to confess the benefits and express devout gratitude for the blessings resulting from your independence to us?

I am not included within the pale of this glorious anniversary! Your high independence only reveals the immeasurable distance between us. The blessings in which you this day rejoice are not enjoyed in common. The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity, and independence bequeathed by your fathers is shared by you, not by me. The sunlight that brought life and healing to you has brought stripes and death to me. This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn. To drag a man in fetters into the grand illuminated temple of liberty, and call upon him to join you in joyous anthems, were inhuman mockery and sacrilegious irony. Do you mean, citizens, to mock me, by asking me to speak today?

What, to the American slave, is your Fourth of July? I answer: a day that reveals to him, more than all other days of the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is a constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants, brass fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are, to Him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy—a thin veil to cover up crimes that would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation of the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of these United States at this very hour.

At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed. O! had I the ability, and could reach the nation’s ear, I would, to-day, pour forth a stream, a fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern rebuke. For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, the earthquake. The feeling of the nation must be quickened; the conscience of the nation must be roused; the propriety of the nation must be startled; the hypocrisy of the nation must be exposed; and the crimes against God and man must be proclaimed and denounced.”