The empathic brain: how, when and why?

Trends in Cognitive Sciences 10 (10):435-441 (2006)
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Abstract

Recent imaging results suggest that individuals automatically share the emotions of others when exposed to their emotions. We question the assumption of the automaticity and propose a contextual approach, suggesting several modulatory factors that might influence empathic brain responses. Contextual appraisal could occur early in emotional cue evaluation, which then might or might not lead to an empathic brain response, or not until after an empathic brain response is automatically elicited. We propose two major roles for empathy; its epistemological role is to provide information about the future actions of other people, and important environmental properties. Its social role is to serve as the origin of the motivation for cooperative and prosocial behavior, as well as help for effective social communication.

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Citations of this work

Participatory sense-making: An enactive approach to social cognition.Hanne De Jaegher & Ezequiel Di Paolo - 2007 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 6 (4):485-507.
On Direct Social Perception.Shannon Spaulding - 2015 - Consciousness and Cognition 36:472-482.
Empathy, Simulation, and Narrative.Shaun Gallagher - 2012 - Science in Context 25 (3):355-381.

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References found in this work

Empathy: Its ultimate and proximate bases.Stephanie D. Preston & Frans B. M. de Waal - 2001 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (1):1-20.
Empathy, Mind, and Morals.Alvin I. Goldman - 1992 - Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 66 (3):17-41.
Autism, empathy and moral agency.Jeanette Kennett - 2002 - Philosophical Quarterly 52 (208):340-357.
Knowledge, Possibility, and Consciousness.John Perry - 2001 - Philosophy 77 (301):457-461.

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