Article

Cultural Neuroscience of Pain and Empathy

Joan Y. Chiao and Vani A. Mathur

in The Oxford Handbook of Cultural Neuroscience

Published in print December 2015 | ISBN: 9780199357376
Published online April 2016 | | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199357376.013.19

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Cultural Neuroscience of Pain and Empathy

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Population health disparities exist in the prevalence of pain throughout the world due to social and biological factors. We examine the etiology of population health disparities in pain prevalence with the cultural neuroscience model. We review empirical evidence for population health disparities in acute and chronic pain, particularly in people from the United States of different racial and ethnic heritages. We discuss how culture, race, and ethnicity affect pain and empathy at the level of neurobiology as well as how an understanding of the mechanisms underlying population health disparities in pain can lead to more effective treatments in multicultural and cross-cultural communities. Implications for understanding the etiology of pain prevalence from a cultural neuroscience perspective for public health are discussed.

Keywords: Cultural neuroscience; pain; empathy; population health disparities; etiology

Article.  3343 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Neuroscience ; Social Psychology

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