ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2016, Vol. 24 ›› Issue (3): 402-409.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2016.00402

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The cognitive neuroscience studies on positive empathy

YUE Tong; HUANG Xiting   

  1. (School of Psychology, Southwest University, Chongqing 400715, China)
  • Received:2015-04-21 Online:2016-03-15 Published:2016-03-15
  • Contact: HUANG Xiting, E-mail:


Positive empathy is a process where positive emotions are vicariously understood and shared among individuals. Positive empathy is not significantly different from negative empathy, which also depends on the mirror nervous system and the theory-of-mind system, but they are different in terms of generation diffculty. However, opinions differ with regards to the cerebral representation of positive empathy: while some researchers think it is represented in insula and the related areas in the same way as negative empathy, others point to the reward system. Studies of the influencing factors of positive empathy have been focused on the relationship between the subject and object of empathy. Further studies are needed to explore the neural representation and regulation mechanism of positive empathy. It is also important to start the study of positive empathy as a psychological trait and to establish its neural basis

Key words: empathy, positive empathy, negative empathy, neural basis