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Cuadernos de neuropsicología

versão On-line ISSN 0718-4123


FILIPPETTI, Vanessa Arán; LOPEZ, Mariana B.  e  RICHAUD, María Cristina. Neuropsychological Approach to the Empathy Construct: Cognitive and Neuroanatomical Aspects. Cuad. neuropsicol. [online]. 2012, vol.6, n.1, pp. 63-83. ISSN 0718-4123.

Multidimensional models define Empathy as a construct that includes both affective (AE; affective empathy) and cognitive (CE; cognitive empathy) components. The aim of the present work is to present the 'state-of-the-art' regarding the association between Empathy and Executive Functions (EF) and to propose an integration of the ideas in this respect. To this end, a conceptual framework is adopted and a number of studies which conceive AE and CE as complementary but differentiated components from either a functional and a neurobiological point of view are thoroughly revised; the two components would be jointly activated during social interaction, but they might act separately as evident, for instance, in cerebral damage and in Psychopathology. From a multidimensional perspective, the relation Empathy - EF could be explain from the relation CE/Theory of Mind - EF, as well as by means of a model that acknowledge the influence of top-down processes - across executive functions - during the empathic process. Adopting a multidimensional view of Empathy is not only relevant from a functional point of view, but also for the diagnosis, assessment and comprehension of the empathic deficit in the neurological and psychiatric clinic.

Palavras-chave : Cognitive Empathy; Affective Empathy; Theory of Mind; Executive Functions; Neuroanatomical Substrates; Empathic Dysfunction.

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