Recent evidence points to two separate systems for empathy: a vicarious sharing emotional system that supports our ability to share emotions and mental states and a cognitive system that involves cognitive understanding of the perspective of others. Several recent models offer new evidence regarding the brain regions involved in these systems, but no study till date has examined how regions within each system dynamically interact. The study by Raz et al. in this issue of Social, Cognitive, & Affective Neuroscience is among the first to use a novel approach of functional magnetic resonance imaging analysis of fluctuations in network cohesion while an individual is experiencing empathy. Their results substantiate the approach positing two empathy mechanisms and, more broadly, demonstrate how dynamic analysis of emotions can further our understanding of social behavior.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Cognitive Neuroscience