PSYCH OpenIR  > 健康与遗传心理学研究室
Alternative TitleEmpathy: The genetics-environment-endocrine-brain mechanism
杨业1,2,3; 汤艺1; 彭微微4; 吕雪靖2,3; 胡理1,2,3; 陈军5
First Author杨业
Correspondent ;
Source Publication科学通报
Contribution Rank2

共情是指感知到他人的情感状态,  使得自己产生与之类似的情绪或感受的能力,  它包含情感共情和认知共情两种成分.  本文结合健康被试和脑损伤患者的神经影像学研究,  概述了共情两种成分的认知神经基础:  情感共情涉及的特异性脑区主要有额下回(IFG)、脑岛和前扣带回(ACC),  认知共情的特异性脑区主要有腹内侧前额叶皮层(vmPFC). 然后, 从内分泌、遗传和环境几个方面, 详细讨论了影响共情能力及其行为的复杂因素. 对共情的内分泌研究发现,  催产素能够促进个体的共情反应,  而睾丸素则会弱化个体的共情反应,  且产前睾丸素可能会影响个体共情能力的发育; 对共情的社会环境和遗传学研究发现, 家庭成员的特质、父母教养方式、学校教育和人际关系等环境因素与催产素受体、多巴胺受体、五羟色胺转运蛋白(5-HTTLPR)和锌指蛋白(ZNF804A)等基因的多态性都会影响共情反应和共情能力的发展.  在现有研究的基础上,  本文提出了共情的遗传-环境-内分泌-大脑理论框架,  揭示了影响共情的各个因素间的相互作用.  最后,  指出了当前共情研究中所存在的问题和局限,  未来有必要在大样本研究的基础上开展纵向研究,  综合考量多个因素(遗传、环境、内分泌和大脑)及其交互作用对共情的影响,  揭示共情能力提升的关键因素;  并在此基础上促进基础共情研究成果向社会生活和临床实践转化,  有效地改善个体的共情能力及其行为,  从而促进社会和谐与进步,  真正意义上实现“老吾老,  以及人之老;  幼吾幼,  以及人之幼”.

Other Abstract

 As a vital ability for everyday communication and survival in a socical environment, empathy, including affective empathy and cognitive empathy, plays a crucial role in helping individuals feel, understand and share the emotional state of others. Affective empathy was defined as sharing experiences of emotional states perceived in others, in-cluding emotional contagion and affective perspective taking; cognitive empathy involves the ability to engage in the cognitive processes of adopting another’s psychological point of view as well as understanding other’s affective and cognitive mental states, similar to Theory of Mind (ToM). Given that empathy provides the foundation of mo-tivation and emotion in individual moral development, it can be used in clinical practice to optimize the medical treatment by promoting patient–physician communication, reducing patients’ anxiety and distress. Thus, it is full of social significance and clinical meaning to comprehensively and deeply explore the biological basis of empathy. To get a better understanding of empathy, this paper will review relevant research on empathy and list the possi-ble influential factors that may affect one’s empathy. First, based on the evidence from neuroimaging study on both healthy individuals and patients with brain lesions, we summarized the neural basis of affective empathy and cogni-tive empathy. These findings indicate that affective empathy involves specific brain areas, such as insula, anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), and inferior frontal gyrus (IFG). In contrast, ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) is specific to cognitive empathy. Second, we expatiated the  factors related to endocrine  system that may influence individuals’ empathy and their related behaviors. Whereas oxytocin facilitates the response of empathy, testerone weakens it. In addition, fetal testosterone would influence the development of individual empathy. Third, the de-velopment of empathy can also be affected by the genetic polymorphism of oxytocin receptor (OXTR), zinc finger protein 804A (ZNF804A), serotonin transporter (5-HTTLPR), and D4 dopamine receptor (DRD4). With the devel-opment of a child, the influences of environmental factors, such as characteristics of family members, parenting styles, and schooling, on empathy cannot  be ignored. Taken all these possible factors into account, a theoretical framework for understanding empathy is proposed, which comprehensively reveals the biological basis of empathy and how it can be affected by genetics, environment, endocrine, and brain. Furthermore, we discussed the short-comings of previous studies on empathy, mainly due to the small sample size and/or the isolation of influential fac-tors from the whole theoretical framework. Finally, we emphasized that further investigations on empathy should focus on longitudinal studies with large sample size, and make efforts to reveal the interactions of the influential factors (e.g. genetics, environment, endocrine and brain). More importantly, experimental findings of empathy re-search should be well explained and translated to the social and clinical applications, as the improvement of empa-thy can be used in promoting social harmony and enhancing clinical treatment.

Keyword共情 情感共情 认知共情 大脑 环境 基因
Indexed ByEI ; CSCD
Citation statistics
Document Type期刊论文
Corresponding Author吕雪靖; 胡理
Affiliation1.西南大学心理学部, 认知与人格教育部重点实验室
4.深圳大学心理与社会学院, 脑功能与心理科学研究中心
First Author AffilicationKey Laboratory of Mental Health, CAS
Corresponding Author AffilicationKey Laboratory of Mental Health, CAS
Recommended Citation
GB/T 7714
杨业,汤艺,彭微微,等. 共情:遗传-环境-内分泌-大脑机制[J]. 科学通报,2017,62(32):3729-3742.
APA 杨业,汤艺,彭微微,吕雪靖,胡理,&陈军.(2017).共情:遗传-环境-内分泌-大脑机制.科学通报,62(32),3729-3742.
MLA 杨业,et al."共情:遗传-环境-内分泌-大脑机制".科学通报 62.32(2017):3729-3742.
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