A study done at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio found that the parts of our brains that empathize and the parts that analyze are essentially unable to function at the same time. Instead, our brains move back and forth between the two functions. “This is a cognitive function we’ve evolved.Empathetic and analytic thinking are, at least to some extent, mutually exclusive in the brain,” explained Anthony Jack, one of the researchers.
This explains why even the most intelligent people can get taken in by a sob story, or why the overly analytical person can come off as cold-hearted, because only one function or the other is at work. Researchers also found that some people tend to rely on one function or the other.
“You’ll never get by without both networks. You don’t have to favor one, but cycle efficiently between them, and employ the right network at the same time,” said Jack.
Researchers are hopeful that this discovery may offer insight into treating people with anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, ADHD and autism. [Daily Mail UK]