Recent research done at Case Western Reserve shows that empathy and analysis are discrete in the brain.  One represses the other.  A healthy individual can quickly alternate their thinking style as appropriate for the situation.  The see-saw of the alternate pathways can be noted in fMRI.  It also helps explain the varying lack of empathy in patients suffering anxiety, depression, ADHD, and schizophrenia.  Additionally, people that suffer autism may have strong analytic ability but weak empathy versus people with Williams syndrome that are very empathetic but have difficulty with analytic tasks.

Anthony I. Jack, Abigail Dawson, Katelyn Begany, Regina L. Leckie, Kevin Barry, Angela Ciccia, Abraham Snyder. fMRI reveals reciprocal inhibition between social and physical cognitive domains. NeuroImage, 2012


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