ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Acupuncture May Trigger Natural Painkiller
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
When Healing Becomes a Commodity
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Safe Toys for Dogs
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Rheumatoid Arthritis Hits Women Harder
B Cells Can Act Alone in Autoimmune Diseases
Human Ancestors Put Best Foot Forward 1.5M Years Ago
CANCER
Well Water Might Raise Bladder Cancer Risk
Researchers ID Genetic Markers for Esophageal Cancer
Acupuncture May Help Relieve Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
CAREGIVING
Birthmark or Blood Vessel Problem?
When the Caregiver Becomes the Patient
Study Links Pesticides to Birth Defects
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
Drink a Little Wine, Live a Little Longer
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
COSMETIC
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
DENTAL, ORAL
Acupuncture May Ease Anxiety Over Dental Work
Holistic Dentistry-My View
Most Insured Adults Worry About Health Care Costs: Poll
DIABETES
Diabetes Linked to Cognitive Problems
Brown Rice Bests White for Diabetes Prevention
Red-Grape Compound May Improve Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
Fasting on Alternate Days May Make Dieting Easier
Eating Well And Keeping Active As You Grow Old Will Help You Stay Sharp
Adults Need To Get Thier Food Facts Straight
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Cleaning House May Be Risky for Women With Asthma
Short-Term Air Pollution Exposure May Damage DNA
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
EYE CARE, VISION
Contact Lens Cases Often Contaminated
When Gauging Age, the Eyes Have It
Autistic Children Make Limited Eye Contact
FITNESS
Exercise Helps Reduce Falls in Young and Old
Simple Exercise Precautions To Help Keep Baby Boomers Fit
Exercise Key Player in Knee Replacement Recovery
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
GENERAL HEALTH
Treat symptoms (result of disease) or diagnose systems (cause of disease)?
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
Keep Fire Safety in Mind as You Celebrate
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Too Much Red Meat May Shorten Life Span
Fondness for Fish Keeps Japanese Hearts Healthy
Chinese Red Yeast Rice May Prevent Heart Attack
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
School Phys. Ed. Injuries Up 150 Percent
Time to Remind Teens About Sun Protection
Breast-Feeding May Protect a Woman's Heart
MEN'S HEALTH
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
MENTAL HEALTH
Using the Mind to Heal the Heart
The Unmedicated Mind
Psychotherapy Can Boost Happiness More Than Money
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
For Baby and Mom Alike, Breast-Feeding May Be Best
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
SENIORS
Friends, Not Grandkids, Key to Happy Retirement
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
Mediterranean Diet Plus Exercise Lowers Alzheimer's Risk
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Iodine in Prenatal Vitamins Varies Widely
Steady Weight Gain Boosts Late-Life Breast Cancer Risk
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