Sympathetic Pain Article
April 8, 2004 9:14 PM   Subscribe

A couple of months ago - maybe as far back as six months - there was an article on Yahoo News about how scientists had discovered that there was a neurochemical response to watching other people in pain. The example they gave was that when you watch a person stubbing their toe (or something similar) you yourself "experience" the pain yourself in a way, at least as far as your brain chemistry is concerned.

I'm a little fuzzy on the details, but does anyone remember this, and where I can read more about it?
posted by interrobang to Science & Nature (5 answers total)
I think you're referring to mirror neurons although I can't find the article you mentioned. Basically, these are sections of the brain normally associated with the areas involved when you do something, except the fire when somebody else does that thing.

Example: There are nerves involved in yawning, and mirror nerves near by that fire when somebody else yawns.
posted by daver at 9:29 PM on April 8, 2004

No kidding, I felt a pang of pain when reading the bit in this post about stubbing a toe. Then, daver's comment made me yawn. Weird. You hacked my brain with plain text.
posted by tomharpel at 10:00 PM on April 8, 2004

tomharpel --- check to see if your keyboard or mouse has any exposed electrical contacts.
posted by Krrrlson at 11:24 PM on April 8, 2004

Not the Yahoo article, but here's one that's similar.
posted by parrots at 12:01 AM on April 9, 2004

Thanks, guys, that's what I was looking for.
posted by interrobang at 12:13 AM on April 9, 2004

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