Does How Much Empathy We Feel for Other People Depend on Their Race?

According to psychologist Joan Chiao, a new study shows that how much we’re able to feel the pain of others and how much we’re willing to help them depends on how similar we are to them and how much we identify with them:

We found that everybody reported empathy and showed increased neural response within brain regions associated with empathy toward the Hurricane Katrina victims. But African-Americans additionally showed greater empathic response to other African-Americans in emotional pain. And this enhanced or extraordinary empathy and altruistic motivation for in-group members was associated with increased neural activity within a brain region called the medial prefrontal cortex.