Psychiatric care could be informed by a recent study, which casts light on the process that enables humans to feel empathy.
Researchers from Vanderbilt University have found that the area of the brain that co-ordinates movement through space is connected to empathy.
Vanderbilt psychology graduate student Katharine Thakkar, who is also the report's lead author, commented: "We use spatial manipulations of mental representations all the time as we move through the physical world.
"As a result, we have readily available cognitive resources to deploy in our attempts to understand what we see. This may extend to our understanding of others' mental states."
She added that due to the fact that we sometimes imagine ourselves in other people's shoes or set about explaining or describing another individual's feelings, empathy can be sparked.
A recent study by Vanderbilt University Professor Bruce Compas revealed that psychiatric care focusing on children and family members of individuals suffering with depression was necessary to break the cycle of the disorder recurring in generations.