To Learn More:
1. Watch two TED talks by two of the most brilliant neuroscientists alive today that illuminate this idea with specific examples:
Rebecca Saxe’s TED talk on a brain region specialized for thinking about what other people are thinking, Rebecca Saxe: How Brains Make Moral Judgements
Doris Tsao’s TED talk about brain regions in monkeys that are specialized for perceiving faces, http://tedxcaltech.caltech.edu/content/doris-tsao
2. Even young infats spontaneously help strangers. To see videos documenting this behavior and scientific papers, go here: http://www.eva.mpg.de/psycho/study-videos.php and here https://software.rc.fas.harvard.edu/lds/research/warneken/video-clips/
3. Many people have written eloquently about the idea that the need to understand other people was a major driver of the evolution of the human brain. Here are just a few:
Byrne, R. W., & Whiten, A. (1989). Machiavellian Intelligence: Social Expertise And The Evolution Of Intellect In Monkeys, Apes, And Humans (Oxford Science. Brothers, L., & Ring, B. (1992).
A neuroethological framework for the representation of minds. Journal of cognitive neuroscience, 4(2), 107-118. Dunbar, R. I. (1998).
The social brain hypothesis. Brain, 9(10), 178-190. Hrdy, S. B. (2009).
Mothers and others: The evolutionary origins of mutual understanding. Harvard University Press.