EEG and fMRI evidence for autobiographical memory reactivation in empathy

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EEG and fMRI evidence for autobiographical memory reactivation in empathy. / Meconi, Federica; Linde-Domingo, Juan; S Ferreira, Catarina; Michelmann, Sebastian; Staresina, Bernhard; Apperly, Ian A; Hanslmayr, Simon.

In: Human Brain Mapping, 14.06.2021.

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@article{54a3e7637ffe4e1ab2d2f48e7f853dc1,
title = "EEG and fMRI evidence for autobiographical memory reactivation in empathy",
abstract = "Empathy relies on the ability to mirror and to explicitly infer others' inner states. Theoretical accounts suggest that memories play a role in empathy, but direct evidence of reactivation of autobiographical memories (AM) in empathy is yet to be shown. We addressed this question in two experiments. In Experiment 1, electrophysiological activity (EEG) was recorded from 28 participants. Participants performed an empathy task in which targets for empathy were depicted in contexts for which participants either did or did not have an AM, followed by a task that explicitly required memory retrieval of the AM and non-AM contexts. The retrieval task was implemented to extract the neural fingerprints of AM and non-AM contexts, which were then used to probe data from the empathy task. An EEG pattern classifier was trained and tested across tasks and showed evidence for AM reactivation when participants were preparing their judgement in the empathy task. Participants self-reported higher empathy for people depicted in situations they had experienced themselves as compared to situations they had not experienced. A second independent fMRI experiment replicated this behavioural finding and showed increased activation for AM compared to non-AM in the brain networks underlying empathy: precuneus, posterior parietal cortex, superior and inferior parietal lobule, and superior frontal gyrus. Together, our study reports behavioural, electrophysiological, and fMRI evidence that robustly supports AM reactivation in empathy.",
author = "Federica Meconi and Juan Linde-Domingo and {S Ferreira}, Catarina and Sebastian Michelmann and Bernhard Staresina and Apperly, {Ian A} and Simon Hanslmayr",
note = "{\textcopyright} 2021 The Authors. Human Brain Mapping published by Wiley Periodicals LLC.",
year = "2021",
month = jun,
day = "14",
doi = "10.1002/hbm.25557",
language = "English",
journal = "Human Brain Mapping",
issn = "1065-9471",
publisher = "Wiley",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - EEG and fMRI evidence for autobiographical memory reactivation in empathy

AU - Meconi, Federica

AU - Linde-Domingo, Juan

AU - S Ferreira, Catarina

AU - Michelmann, Sebastian

AU - Staresina, Bernhard

AU - Apperly, Ian A

AU - Hanslmayr, Simon

N1 - © 2021 The Authors. Human Brain Mapping published by Wiley Periodicals LLC.

PY - 2021/6/14

Y1 - 2021/6/14

N2 - Empathy relies on the ability to mirror and to explicitly infer others' inner states. Theoretical accounts suggest that memories play a role in empathy, but direct evidence of reactivation of autobiographical memories (AM) in empathy is yet to be shown. We addressed this question in two experiments. In Experiment 1, electrophysiological activity (EEG) was recorded from 28 participants. Participants performed an empathy task in which targets for empathy were depicted in contexts for which participants either did or did not have an AM, followed by a task that explicitly required memory retrieval of the AM and non-AM contexts. The retrieval task was implemented to extract the neural fingerprints of AM and non-AM contexts, which were then used to probe data from the empathy task. An EEG pattern classifier was trained and tested across tasks and showed evidence for AM reactivation when participants were preparing their judgement in the empathy task. Participants self-reported higher empathy for people depicted in situations they had experienced themselves as compared to situations they had not experienced. A second independent fMRI experiment replicated this behavioural finding and showed increased activation for AM compared to non-AM in the brain networks underlying empathy: precuneus, posterior parietal cortex, superior and inferior parietal lobule, and superior frontal gyrus. Together, our study reports behavioural, electrophysiological, and fMRI evidence that robustly supports AM reactivation in empathy.

AB - Empathy relies on the ability to mirror and to explicitly infer others' inner states. Theoretical accounts suggest that memories play a role in empathy, but direct evidence of reactivation of autobiographical memories (AM) in empathy is yet to be shown. We addressed this question in two experiments. In Experiment 1, electrophysiological activity (EEG) was recorded from 28 participants. Participants performed an empathy task in which targets for empathy were depicted in contexts for which participants either did or did not have an AM, followed by a task that explicitly required memory retrieval of the AM and non-AM contexts. The retrieval task was implemented to extract the neural fingerprints of AM and non-AM contexts, which were then used to probe data from the empathy task. An EEG pattern classifier was trained and tested across tasks and showed evidence for AM reactivation when participants were preparing their judgement in the empathy task. Participants self-reported higher empathy for people depicted in situations they had experienced themselves as compared to situations they had not experienced. A second independent fMRI experiment replicated this behavioural finding and showed increased activation for AM compared to non-AM in the brain networks underlying empathy: precuneus, posterior parietal cortex, superior and inferior parietal lobule, and superior frontal gyrus. Together, our study reports behavioural, electrophysiological, and fMRI evidence that robustly supports AM reactivation in empathy.

U2 - 10.1002/hbm.25557

DO - 10.1002/hbm.25557

M3 - Article

C2 - 34121270

JO - Human Brain Mapping

JF - Human Brain Mapping

SN - 1065-9471

ER -