Going by the pages of history, counselling has always advocated for the use of empathy in day to day life. But apart from that, empathy has been somewhat of a vague concept for the general masses. But recent neuroscientific findings might be on their way to change that sort of thinking.

Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and other key technologies, researchers have been able to locate where the magic happens in the brain when someone is empathetic. Very important in this process are mirror neurons which fire when a human or other primate acts and when they observe actions by another.

The earliest studies of mirror neurons and empathy asked one of the two closely attached partners to watch the other receive a mild shock (through a one-way mirror). The brain of the shocked partner fired in two areas – one for physical pain and the other for emotional. And for the observing partner, his/her emotional pain center fired when the other partner received physical pain. Happy Ho organizes best Meditation and Tarot classes in Noida and Delhi NCR area in India.

Research consistently shows that children, adolescents and adults who are antisocial have mirror neurons that do not activate. In fact, as per evidence, many of such people show pleasure when others are in pain.

These basic findings have been replicated in many ways. For instance, in one experiment they found that the skin conductance of patient-therapist pairs was high and parallel when both of them sensed and felt empathy in the relationship. An fMRI study found that such “neural coupling” disappears when empathy dies or fades out in the relationship.

In short, empathy is not an abstract concept anymore; it is measurable and its presence definitely makes an impact on other people’s lives.