Keywords

Emotion, Event-related potentials, Cognitive control, Performance monitoring, Rabbitt effect, Anteriorcingulate

Abstract

Recent research suggests a relationship between empathy and error processing. Error processing is an evaluativecontrol function that can be measured using post-error response time slowing and the error-related negativity (ERN)and post-error positivity (Pe) components of the event-related potential (ERP). Thirty healthy participants completedtwo measures of empathy, the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI) and the Empathy Quotient (EQ), and a modifiedStroop task. Post-error slowing was associated with increased empathic personal distress on the IRI. ERN amplitudewas related to overall empathy score on the EQ and the fantasy subscale of the IRI. The Pe and measures of empathywere not related. Results remained consistent when negative affect was controlled via partial correlation, with anadditional relationship between ERN amplitude and empathic concern on the IRI. Findings support a connectionbetween empathy and error processing mechanisms.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

2010

Publisher

Society for Psychophysiological Research

Language

English

College

Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Department

Psychology

Included in

Psychology Commons

Share

COinS