Rats 'feel the distress' of other rats, Dutch neuroscientists say

They seem to have a mechanism for caring similar to ours.

Image source: Ukki Studio/Shutterstock
  • A new study demonstrates that a rat will respond to another's pain.
  • Freezing in place as another rat is shocked is one of empathy's visible indicators.
  • The rats' mechanism for feeling the distress of others seems to be similar to our own.
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Surprising Science

The biggest change to manhood? Equal parenting.

Being a successful caregiver is part of today's definition of manhood.

  • The biggest example of a change in men's gendered behavior in recent years is the transformation of fatherhood. Nowadays, the definition of manhood has increasingly included being a present, and good caregiver.
  • Women have historically been burdened with childcare and housework. So much so that they usually longer off time off for parental leave. Also, they're the ones tending to take off work if their kid is sick. Because of this heavy role in parenting, many women have not been able to advance far in the workforce.
  • By men doing half of the care work, it's boosted women's empowerment. It's also great for children's emotional development and well-being. It's also great for men, too, because, as a result of being a successful caregiver, men are more likely to build up a sense of empathy, which can help them in leadership positions.
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Videos

10 novels that brilliantly capture the American experience

The distance between the American dream and reality is expressed best through literature.

American novelist, writer, playwright, poet, essayist and civil rights activist James Baldwin poses at his home in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, southern France, on November 6, 1979. (Photo: Ralph Gatti/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Literature expands our ability to feel empathy and inspires compassion.
  • These 10 novels tackle some facet of the American experience.
  • The list includes a fictional retelling of the first Native American to graduate from Harvard, and hiding out in inner-city Newark.
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Culture & Religion

MDMA shown to increase empathy over other substances

It's all about the serotonin.

German actor Jonas Dassler (L) and German director and screenwriter Fatih Akin embrace before leaving a press conference for the film 'The golden glove' (Der Goldene Handschuh) presented in competition at the 69th Berlinale film festival on February 9, 2019 in Berlin. - The Berlin film festival will be running from February 7 to 17, 2019. Nearly 400 movies from around the world will be presented, with 17 vying for the prestigious Golden Bear top prize. (Photo by John MACDOUGALL / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images)
  • In a new study, MDMA is shown to produce better cognitive and emotional empathy than users of cocaine, ketamine, and alcohol.
  • This follows in the wake of criticism that MDMA use leads to social distress.
  • Illegal in America since 1985, MDMA is showing positive efficacy rates in clinical trials for treating depression, anxiety, and PTSD.
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Surprising Science

Why toxic relationships are so draining. And when to break them off.

Who you let into your mental space matters.

  • Wanting to be a "nice person" often stops people from establishing the boundaries they need to protect their mental space from toxic people.
  • For Shaka Senghor, self-pity and pessimism are two traits that turn relationships toxic. Consider that people may not know what they are doing: "[T]hey're just repeating the cycle of hurt people hurting people," says Senghor.
  • It takes courage to confront a problem head on, but an honest conversation is often the best way for things to change – and if nothing improves, value yourself enough to walk away.
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