Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
. 2006 Jun 30;312(5782):1967-70.
doi: 10.1126/science.1128322.

Social Modulation of Pain as Evidence for Empathy in Mice

Free article

Social Modulation of Pain as Evidence for Empathy in Mice

Dale J Langford et al. Science. .
Free article


Empathy is thought to be unique to higher primates, possibly to humans alone. We report the modulation of pain sensitivity in mice produced solely by exposure to their cagemates, but not to strangers, in pain. Mice tested in dyads and given an identical noxious stimulus displayed increased pain behaviors with statistically greater co-occurrence, effects dependent on visual observation. When familiar mice were given noxious stimuli of different intensities, their pain behavior was influenced by their neighbor's status bidirectionally. Finally, observation of a cagemate in pain altered pain sensitivity of an entirely different modality, suggesting that nociceptive mechanisms in general are sensitized.

Comment in

  • Animal behavior. Signs of empathy seen in mice.
    Miller G. Miller G. Science. 2006 Jun 30;312(5782):1860-1. doi: 10.1126/science.312.5782.1860b. Science. 2006. PMID: 16809499 No abstract available.
  • Mice, pain, and empathy.
    Jordan EG, Mogil JS. Jordan EG, et al. Science. 2006 Oct 13;314(5797):253; author reply 253. doi: 10.1126/science.314.5797.253. Science. 2006. PMID: 17038607 No abstract available.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 183 articles

See all "Cited by" articles

Publication types

LinkOut - more resources