Understanding emotional and cognitive empathy: A neuropsychological perspective


A., Perry, and Shamay-Tsoory S. “Understanding emotional and cognitive empathy: A neuropsychological perspective.” In Understanding Other Minds: Perspectives from developmental social neuroscience. Oxford University Press, 2013.


Empathy is a broad concept that refers to the cognitive as well as the emotional reactions of one individual to the observed experiences of another. Questions regarding how we understand others have intrigued psychologists and philosophers for centuries. In order to answer these questions, two major theories have been proposed, known as Theory Theory and Simulation Theory. In the past two decades, these questions have been re-examined by neuropsychologists and neuroscientists. This chapter reviews the different aspects of emotional and cognitive empathy in light of converging evidence from lesion patients, electrophysiology and neuroimaging studies. Neuropsychiatric disorders, such as Autism or Schizophrenia, although heterogeneous and difficult to study, have also been examined in relation to their deficits in cognitive and emotional empathy, and some of these new findings are discussed in this chapter. Lastly, we propose a model which relates brain mechanisms such as simulation or c

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Last updated on 12/19/2017