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Social Relation And Empathy For Pain

The emotional sharing that is shown through the empathic process is strongly influenced by factors such as familiarity with the other person, common group membership, similarity and affinity, which has important implication for social interactions in daily life. Here we will review recent experimental evidence including animal studies, studies from social and clinical neuroscience to further shed a light on the interplay between social relation and empathy and its underlying neural mechanisms. The focus will be put on empathy for pain which has been linked to automatic sensorimotor contagion, and has become increasingly popular in the empathy research during the last years. As an outlook, we will speculate on how plastic and changeable social relation and group-memberships are and how this could in turn shape empathic behaviour and its neural foundation.
Mariella Pazzaglia and Bigna Lenggenhager

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  • Social Relation And Empathy For Pain