For decades scientists have been studying the unique characteristics of the psychopathic brain. Abigail Marsh, a Georgetown University psychologist, wanted to study the complete opposite of the psychopaths, what she refers to as the “anti-psychopaths.”
For her research, Marsh chose altruistic kidney donors. These people are ultra do-gooders who are extraordinarily compassionate, prosocial, and empathetic — so much so that they will give up a perfectly good kidney just because a stranger needs it.
Her findings, recently published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, found that the brains of kidney donors looked structurally different from psychopaths, revealing evidence that there may be a neurobiological explanation for the behavior of altruistic kidney donors.