A group of researchers have investigated the differences in brain function encountered in people with schizophrenia using MRI scans. They found that people with schizophrenia were less able to 'read' correctly other people's facial expressions. Scans showed for the first time reduced activity in the left fronto-temporal network of the brain linked to deficits in social cognition.
Empathising with others, putting yourself in someone else's shoes, is vital for having a strong social network (a pre-condition of happiness), for making friends, and for getting jobs. Empathising with others is, off course, also necessary for treating each other well and for avoiding violent behaviour.
While the researchers investigated the lack of social cognition in schizophrenics, I am curious to learn whether similar things can be said about people with difficulties in the autistic spectrum and those with anti-social behaviour. Dr Sharma feels that "The next challenge
is to see whether current treatments can reverse these deficits in
Read more about this research in: Institute Of Psychiatry (2000, December 4). Differences In Brain
Function Make It Hard For People With Schizophrenia To Interpret Other
People's Feelings. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 26, 2008, from http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2000/12/001201073102.htm