Empathy is a high level emotion that helps us navigate the complex social environment we live in. New research suggests that the subgenual anterior cingulate cortex is the area in the brain that maybe uniquely required for this process.
anterior cingulate cortex is responsible for autonomic functions/control such as regulating blood pressure and heart rate AND rational cognitive funcitons. ACC is involved with early learning tasks. It has a lot of spindle cells. Stroop test activates the ACC.
Scientists have identified part of our brain that helps us learn to be good to other people. People who rated themselves as having higher levels of empathy learned to benefit others faster than those who reported having lower levels of empathy. They also showed increased signalling in their subgenual anterior cingulate cortex when benefiting others.