Brain Illustration

People who are inclined to empathize with those who are less fortunate are also susceptible to depression. According to psychology professor Mauricio Delgado and graduate student Megan Speer at Rutgers University–Newark, “prosocials,” or those who instinctively react to unfairness and wish to promote equity, are more likely to exhibit symptoms of depression, the fourth leading cause of disability worldwide. But why might a stronger concern for equality among individuals be linked to depression? Evidently, the brain’s amygdala and hippocampus both track sensitivity to unfairness and are functionally and structurally compromised in those exhibiting depression.