Preparing your results

Our searching services are busy right now. Your search will reload in five seconds.

X
Forgot Password

If you have forgotten your password you can enter your email here and get a temporary password sent to your email.

Empathy for pain involves the affective but not sensory components of pain.

Science (New York, N.Y.) | Feb 20, 2004

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14976305

Our ability to have an experience of another's pain is characteristic of empathy. Using functional imaging, we assessed brain activity while volunteers experienced a painful stimulus and compared it to that elicited when they observed a signal indicating that their loved one--present in the same room--was receiving a similar pain stimulus. Bilateral anterior insula (AI), rostral anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), brainstem, and cerebellum were activated when subjects received pain and also by a signal that a loved one experienced pain. AI and ACC activation correlated with individual empathy scores. Activity in the posterior insula/secondary somatosensory cortex, the sensorimotor cortex (SI/MI), and the caudal ACC was specific to receiving pain. Thus, a neural response in AI and rostral ACC, activated in common for "self" and "other" conditions, suggests that the neural substrate for empathic experience does not involve the entire "pain matrix." We conclude that only that part of the pain network associated with its affective qualities, but not its sensory qualities, mediates empathy.

Pubmed ID: 14976305 RIS Download

Mesh terms: Adult | Brain | Brain Mapping | Brain Stem | Cerebellum | Cerebral Cortex | Cues | Electroshock | Empathy | Female | Gyrus Cinguli | Humans | Magnetic Resonance Imaging | Male | Mediodorsal Thalamic Nucleus | Motor Cortex | Pain | Prefrontal Cortex | Somatosensory Cortex

Research resources used in this publication

None found

Research tools detected in this publication

None found

Data used in this publication

None found

Associated grants

None

Publication data is provided by the National Library of Medicine ® and PubMed ®. Data is retrieved from PubMed ® on a weekly schedule. For terms and conditions see the National Library of Medicine Terms and Conditions.