Dissociable systems for empathy

R. J.R. Blair

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

5 Scopus citations


Empathy is a lay term that is becoming increasingly used in the field of cognitive neuroscience. In this paper, it is argued that empathy is a loose collection of partially dissociable neurocognitive systems. Two forms of 'emotional' empathy were considered: First, responding to emotional expressions, particularly angry expressions, leading to response reversal. Secondly, responding to emotional expressions, particularly fearful and sad expressions, leading to stimulus-reinforcement learning. The implications of these forms of empathy for understanding specific psychiatric conditions are briefly considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEmpathy and Fairness
Number of pages8
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameNovartis Foundation Symposium
ISSN (Print)1528-2511

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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