ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Ginger Can Ease Nausea From Chemotherapy Treatments
Health Tip: Anticipating Acupuncture
Awareness of Alternative Therapies May Be Lacking
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
In Elderly Women, Hip Fractures Often Follow Arm Breaks
Majority of College Students Report Backpack-Related Pain
Pain More a Cause of Arthritis Than a Symptom
CANCER
Supplement Hampers Thyroid Cancer Treatment
Occaisonal Dieting May Cut Breast Cancer, Study Says
Study Cites Gains in Gall Bladder Cancer Treatment
CAREGIVING
Injected Medication Errors a Major Problem
Baby's Sleep Position May Not Affect Severity of Head Flattening
3 Steps Might Help Stop MRSA's Spread
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
Grapefruit-Heavy Diet Helped Spur Dangerous Clot
COSMETIC
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
DENTAL, ORAL
Gummy Bears Join Cavity Fight
Gum Care Helps Control Type 2 Diabetes and Its Complications
Sports Drinks May Be Tough on Teeth
DIABETES
Red-Grape Compound May Improve Diabetes
Brown Rice Bests White for Diabetes Prevention
Insulin Resistance Tied to Peripheral Artery Disease
DIET, NUTRITION
Olive Oil May Be Key to Mediterranean Diet's Benefits
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
Healthy Eating While On Vacation
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Gas Cooking Might Up Your Cancer Risk
Skin Woes Take Toll on U.S. Combat Troops
Clear Skies Have Become Less So Over Time, Data Show
EYE CARE, VISION
Clues Found to Brain Mechanism Behind Migraines
Eye Test Could Spot Diabetes Vision Trouble Early
Kids' Eye Injuries From Golf Clubs Rare But Severe
FITNESS
Exercise in Adolescence May Cut Risk of Deadly Brain Tumor
Will the Wii Keep You Fit?
The 3LS Wellness Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Creating Lasting Health
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
GENERAL HEALTH
Healthy Living Adds Years to Life
Want Sun Protection? Wear Red or Blue
Cocaine Spurs Long-Term Change in Brain Chemistry
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Heart Disease May Be Prevented By Taking Fish Oils, Study Shows
Fatty Fish May Cut Heart Failure Risk in Men
Walk Long, Slow and Often to Help the Heart
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Decline of Underweight Children in U.S. Continue to Fall
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
Teens Lose More Weight Using Healthy Strategies
MEN'S HEALTH
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
MENTAL HEALTH
Positive Brain Changes Seen After Body-Mind Meditation
Love Hormone May Ease Discussion of Painful Topics
Worries About Weight Are Tied to Teen Suicide Tries
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
SENIORS
As You Age, Better Health Means Better Sex
Mediterranean Diet Plus Exercise Lowers Alzheimer's Risk
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Supportive Weigh-In Program Keeps Pounds Off
Heal Your LifeŽ Tips for Living Well
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Common Social Groups and Race, Seem to Help People Relate

(HealthDay News) -- Brain imaging technology reveals that familiarity breeds empathy, according to a new study.

Neuroimaging of the anterior cingulate cortex -- the area of the brain that is linked to emotional response -- shows more activity when a person observes someone get hurt who is of the same social group, such as the same race. The findings, in the July 1 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience, would appear to confirm the long-suspected belief that people harbor basic, subconscious prejudices against those unlike themselves.

"This is a fascinating study of a phenomenon with important social implications for everything from medical care to charitable giving," Martha Farah, a University of Pennsylvania cognitive neuroscientist and neuroethicist who was not affiliated with the study, said in a news release issued by the journal's publisher.

The researchers, supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, had two groups of people -- one made up of whites and the other of Chinese -- watch videos in which a person appears to be pricked in the face with a needle or with a cotton swab. The observers showed increased empathic neural responses when the person in the video was of the same race as themselves during the needle prick. The neural activity was much less when a person of a different race was pricked with the needle.

"Our findings have significant implications for understanding real-life social behaviors and social interactions," study author Shihui Han, of Peking University in China, said in the news release.

Farah, however, said the study raised questions about whether race alone is what would trigger the brain's empathic response or whether other characteristics and life-experiences would temper an observer's reaction.

SOURCE: Society for Neuroscience, news release, June 30, 2009

Last Updated: July 01, 2009