ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Music Therapy For Prehistoric Man?
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
ANIMAL CARE
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
BONES & JOINTS
Tequila Plant May Help Fight Bone Loss
Osteoporosis May Raise Risk for Vertigo
Health Tip: Back Pain in Children
CANCER
Immune Therapy May Aid Kids With Neuroblastoma
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
Well Water Might Raise Bladder Cancer Risk
CAREGIVING
Children's Bath Products Contain Contaminants
Moms Who Breast-Feed Less Likely to Neglect Child
Injected Medication Errors a Major Problem
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
Support Network May Play Role in Benefits of Drinking
Smog Tougher on the Obese
COSMETIC
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
DENTAL, ORAL
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
Gum Disease Treatment Doesn't Cut Preterm Birth Risk
Most Insured Adults Worry About Health Care Costs: Poll
DIABETES
Brown Rice Bests White for Diabetes Prevention
24 Million Americans Had Diabetes in 2007
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
DIET, NUTRITION
Polyunsaturated Fats Really May Lower Heart Risk
HELP TO LOSE WEIGHT ON A LOW CAL BUDGET
Diet, Exercise May Slow Kidney Disease Progression
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Dementia Underestimated in Developing Countries
Think You Are Lead-Free? Check Your Soil
Prenatal Exposure to Traffic Pollution May Lead to Asthma
EYE CARE, VISION
Antioxidant-Rich Diet May Protect Against Eye Disease
'Blind' Man Navigates Obstacle Course Without Error
Vision Test for Young Children Called Unreliable
FITNESS
Fitness Fades Fast After 45
You Can Get Great Exercise In The Garden
Living With Less TV, More Sweat Boosts Weight Loss
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
GENERAL HEALTH
Eating Well And Keeping Active As You Grow Old Will Help You Stay Sharp
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Want to Stop Cancer? You Can, Experts Say
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Too Much Red Meat May Shorten Life Span
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
More Steps a Day Lead to Better Health
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Don't Leave Your Kids In The Car !
Exercise Eases Obesity and Anger in Kids
Childhood Dairy Intake Boosts Bone Health Later On
MEN'S HEALTH
Lots of Sex May Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
Low Vitamin D Levels May Boost Men's Heart Attack Risk
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
Keeping a Healthy Holiday Balance
Worries About Weight Are Tied to Teen Suicide Tries
Living Alone Increases Odds of Developing Dementia
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
Prenatal Stress May Boost Baby's Asthma Risk
SENIORS
Seniors Who Volunteer May Live Longer
A Little Alcohol May Stave Off Alzheimer's
Community Exercise Programs Boost Seniors' Strength
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Being Active an Hour a Day Puts Brakes on Weight Gain
Simple Carbs Pose Heart Risk for Women
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
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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