abstract Claus Lamm

Claus Lamm (Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Unit, Faculty of Psychology, University of Vienna, Austria)

The neural bases of empathy

I will review recent social neuroscience studies investigating the neural underpinnings of empathy. More specifically, I will demonstrate that empathic resonance relies upon a core network of areas involved in homeostatic regulation and interoception (including medial cingulate and anterior insular cortex), that neural responses in these areas can be triggered by distinct neuro-cognitive pathways, and that they are modulated by a variety of intra- and interpersonal factors. Finally, I will discuss recent findings showing how empathic neural responses are related to (pro)social behavior and moral decision making.

Majdandzic, J., et al. (2012). The human factor: behavioral and neural correlates of humanized perception in moral decision making. PLoS ONE, 7(10), e47698.

Lamm, C., et al. (2011). Meta-analytic evidence for common and distinct neural networks associated with directly experienced pain and empathy for pain. NeuroImage, 54(3), 2492-2502.

Lamm, C., & Singer, T. (2010). The role of anterior insular cortex in social emotions. Brain Struct Funct, 214(5-6), 579-591.