41. This strange phenomenon created empathy.
In this particularly peculiar case, a woman had developed hyper-empathy after she had a part of her brain removed. That was because she had epilepsy, so to make her day-to-day life more comfortable, surgeons removed her amygdala. Unfortunately, the amygdala is also the control center for a person’s emotions. The doctors had informed her that its removal could make it more difficult for her to connect with people on an emotional level, but the exact opposite occurred.
In this case, this woman had heightened emotional arousal and other physical effects tied to emotions. She described the new feelings as a “spin at the heart” or “esophageal unpleasant feeling.” Experts think that once the amygdala was gone, other brain regions became responsible for the stronger empathy drive, increasing her brain’s emotional section.