Chapter

How Children Develop Empathy: The Contribution of Developmental Affective Neuroscience

Jean Decety and Kalina J. Michalska

in Empathy

Published by The MIT Press

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780262016612
Published online August 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780262298612 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.7551/mitpress/9780262016612.003.0010
How Children Develop Empathy: The Contribution of Developmental Affective Neuroscience

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This chapter focuses on the role of neuroscience in developing empathy in children through analyzing neurological mechanisms. The extension of parental care of the offspring mechanism in social animals leading to evolution of social behaviors is the root of empathy and concern. The chapter explores a model of empathy that indicates the involvement of partially non-overlapping neural circuits, which change with age, and presents studies indicating the ability of infants to recognize facial expressions to show their understanding of emotions, which they use to communicate with others. It discusses the role of cognitive development in influencing the development of empathy in children, along with that of innate physiological mechanisms in influencing early emotion regulation in children.

Keywords: neuroscience; social animals; social behaviors; neural circuits; facial expressions; emotion regulation

Chapter.  9832 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuropsychology

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