Anonymous: Does your vision correct to 20/20?
I have absolutely no idea. Never asked.
: Hey! In regards to the study you commented on about psychopaths feeling empathy - have you heard of Simon Baron-Cohen? He's one of the foremost autism researchers in the world, and recently released a book called the Science of Evil. In it he talks about the lack of empathy seen in Autism SDs, Narcissistic PD, Borderline PD, and Antisocial PD, and goes on to outline genes that have found to be associated with empathy, so perhaps some of the empathy circuit has been found. It's a great book!
I have indeed heard of him, it’s hard to get through any developmental psychology module and not touch on him, some of his work is great, don’t get me wrong, but I would be very wary about a publication like that which firstly, seems to border on pop-psych (the use of the word ‘evil’ in the title is a little off putting in that matter), and secondly, and most importantly, is NOT peer reviewed! (Not that everything that is peer reviewed is flawless but at least it would be more academically credible)
That being said I’m not saying it’s a bad book, but it is for the public as opposed to people in the field, and therefore is not something we should base any academic significance on. As well as that genes do not equate to neurological systems - those are two different fields of study, they have an overlap but they’re not the same. And association is only that - an association, a relationship, probably a correlation, and therefore no direct causation can be read into it.
I’m not saying that there is no research into this particular subject or that there aren’t any interesting results - what I’m saying is that there is no concrete evidence, or even substantial evidence, of a definitive ‘empathy circuit’ or an ‘empathy area’ and personally I think it is probably an oversimplification of the subject.