Two UCLA neuroscientists found that the altruistic among us are hardwired to be selfless and that kind people experience more activity in areas of the brain that fuel empathetic impulses.
‘Some people are born optimistic and behave in less selfish and more altruistic ways as they experience more activity in areas of the brain that fuel empathetic impulses.
"Our altruism may be more hard-wired than previously thought," said Leonardo Christov-Moore.
The findings, reported in two recent studies, also point to a possible way to make people behave in less selfish and more altruistic ways, said senior author Marco Iacoboni, adding that this is potentially groundbreaking.
The findings of both studies suggest potential avenues for increasing empathy, which is especially critical in treating people who have experienced desensitizing situations like prison or war.
"The study is important proof of principle that with a noninvasive procedure you can make people behave in a more prosocial way," Iacoboni said.
The first study is published in February in Human Brain Mapping
and the second study is published in Social Neuroscience.