[Paleopsych] empathy [was] Positive emotions and perceptual accuracy

Ross Buck ross.buck at uconn.edu
Thu Feb 17 15:19:17 UTC 2005

Empathy can be defined in many ways--does a predator have empathy for its
prey when it judges accurately which way it will escape?--but many consider
nurturance and protectiveness to be important.  To some extent, these are
necessary behaviors in birds and mammals, although different species do
display them to differing degrees.  The differences between monogamous
prairie vole and polygamous meadow voles are particularly instructive, as
these tendencies are closely related to oxytocin and vasopressin systems.
There is recent evidence that, incredibly, the ruggedly individualistic but
philandering male meadow vole can be made to act like a sweet, sensitive,
reliable male prairie vole by the alteration of a single gene.  Lim et al.
(2004) demonstrated that V1aR gene transfer into the ventral forebrain of
male meadow voles substantially increased partner preference formation.  The
V1aR gene transfer increases vasopressin receptors in the ventral forebrain,
and the authors suggest that this has the effect of increasing social memory
of the partner's olfactory signature and also associating that social memory
with dopamine-mediated reward.  

Don't try this at home.  

Cheers, Ross

Reference:  Lim, M. M., Wang, Z., Olazabal, D. E., Ren, X., Terwilliger, E.
F., & Young, L. J. (2004)  Enhanced partner preference in a promiscuous
species by manipulating the expression of a single gene.  Nature.  429.

-----Original Message-----
From: paleopsych-bounces at paleopsych.org
[mailto:paleopsych-bounces at paleopsych.org] On Behalf Of Lynn D. Johnson,
Sent: Thursday, February 17, 2005 12:13 AM
To: The new improved paleopsych list
Subject: Re: [Paleopsych] empathy [was] Positive emotions and perceptual

Well, many mammals seem to have empathy. I do not think that reptiles 
have empathy nor fish. I have not seen empathy in cows, but some in 
horses. My Lab retriever has empathy for our cat, and the cat hates the 
dog. I have not seen empathy in cats. No offense intended, you cat 
lovers. Your examples are mostly chimps, and certainly they have 
empathy. The bird studies show intelligence but I don't see the empathy. 
Our bird has no empathy for anyone except the lovely bird behind the 
mirror. Empathy is likely a limbic / neocortex combination, bigger 
cortex, more empathy???. I suspect that animals living in groups would 
tend to develop empathy.

K.E. wrote:

> All animals have empathy
> Non Human Animals Have Intelligence,
> Culture, Emotion, Compassion and Language
> http://www.wildlifeprotection.net/Cruelty/cruelty4.html
> karen
> <>~~~~~<>~~~~~<>~~~~~<>~~~~~<>~~~~~<>~~~~~<>~~~~~<>
> The Educational CyberPlayGround
> http://www.edu-cyberpg.com/
> National Children's Folksong Repository
> http://www.edu-cyberpg.com/Culdesac/Repository/NCFR.html
> Hot List of Schools Online and
> Net Happenings, K12 Newsletters, Network Newsletters
> http://www.edu-cyberpg.com/Community/index.html
> 7 Hot Site Awards
> New York Times, USA Today , MSNBC, Earthlink,
> USA Today Best Bets For Educators, Macworld Top Fifty
> <>~~~~~<>~~~~~<>~~~~~<>~~~~~<>~~~~~<>~~~~~<>~~~~~<> 
> _______________________________________________
> paleopsych mailing list
> paleopsych at paleopsych.org
> http://lists.paleopsych.org/mailman/listinfo/paleopsych

paleopsych mailing list
paleopsych at paleopsych.org

More information about the paleopsych mailing list