Electroencephalographic α-band and β-band correlates of perspective-taking and personal distress

Christopher C Woodruff, Rachel Daut, Michael Brower, Ashanti Bragg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Perspective-taking and personal distress are argued to play contrasting roles in empathic processing, with perspective-taking promoting empathic concern and personal distress promoting egoistic motivations. Previous research has shown that emotionally negative valence imagery induced α and β power changes relative to neutral imagery and that α activity relates inversely to empathy. We therefore investigated the hypothesis that enhanced β is associated with personal distress and is accompanied by a correlation between α and perspective-taking. Participants viewed negative and neutral valence images from the International Affective Picture System and made judgments about their levels of concern for humans in each image. As predicted, greater β enhancement was associated with higher personal distress, whereas greater α-band suppression was associated with lower perspective-taking abilities. We suggest that these data support Batson's Empathy-Altruism hypothesis in which failure to adopt another person's perspective is related to greater personal distress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)744-748
Number of pages5
JournalNeuroReport
Volume22
Issue number15
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 26 2011

Fingerprint

Imagery (Psychotherapy)
Altruism
Aptitude
Motivation
Research
Power (Psychology)

Keywords

  • β rhythms
  • electroencephalography
  • empathy
  • personal distress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Electroencephalographic α-band and β-band correlates of perspective-taking and personal distress. / Woodruff, Christopher C; Daut, Rachel; Brower, Michael; Bragg, Ashanti.

In: NeuroReport, Vol. 22, No. 15, 26.10.2011, p. 744-748.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Woodruff, Christopher C ; Daut, Rachel ; Brower, Michael ; Bragg, Ashanti. / Electroencephalographic α-band and β-band correlates of perspective-taking and personal distress. In: NeuroReport. 2011 ; Vol. 22, No. 15. pp. 744-748.
@article{9dee6326e230444981af8b2e664d1742,
title = "Electroencephalographic α-band and β-band correlates of perspective-taking and personal distress",
abstract = "Perspective-taking and personal distress are argued to play contrasting roles in empathic processing, with perspective-taking promoting empathic concern and personal distress promoting egoistic motivations. Previous research has shown that emotionally negative valence imagery induced α and β power changes relative to neutral imagery and that α activity relates inversely to empathy. We therefore investigated the hypothesis that enhanced β is associated with personal distress and is accompanied by a correlation between α and perspective-taking. Participants viewed negative and neutral valence images from the International Affective Picture System and made judgments about their levels of concern for humans in each image. As predicted, greater β enhancement was associated with higher personal distress, whereas greater α-band suppression was associated with lower perspective-taking abilities. We suggest that these data support Batson's Empathy-Altruism hypothesis in which failure to adopt another person's perspective is related to greater personal distress.",
keywords = "β rhythms, electroencephalography, empathy, personal distress",
author = "Woodruff, {Christopher C} and Rachel Daut and Michael Brower and Ashanti Bragg",
year = "2011",
month = "10",
day = "26",
doi = "10.1097/WNR.0b013e32834ab439",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "22",
pages = "744--748",
journal = "NeuroReport",
issn = "0959-4965",
publisher = "Lippincott Williams and Wilkins",
number = "15",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Electroencephalographic α-band and β-band correlates of perspective-taking and personal distress

AU - Woodruff, Christopher C

AU - Daut, Rachel

AU - Brower, Michael

AU - Bragg, Ashanti

PY - 2011/10/26

Y1 - 2011/10/26

N2 - Perspective-taking and personal distress are argued to play contrasting roles in empathic processing, with perspective-taking promoting empathic concern and personal distress promoting egoistic motivations. Previous research has shown that emotionally negative valence imagery induced α and β power changes relative to neutral imagery and that α activity relates inversely to empathy. We therefore investigated the hypothesis that enhanced β is associated with personal distress and is accompanied by a correlation between α and perspective-taking. Participants viewed negative and neutral valence images from the International Affective Picture System and made judgments about their levels of concern for humans in each image. As predicted, greater β enhancement was associated with higher personal distress, whereas greater α-band suppression was associated with lower perspective-taking abilities. We suggest that these data support Batson's Empathy-Altruism hypothesis in which failure to adopt another person's perspective is related to greater personal distress.

AB - Perspective-taking and personal distress are argued to play contrasting roles in empathic processing, with perspective-taking promoting empathic concern and personal distress promoting egoistic motivations. Previous research has shown that emotionally negative valence imagery induced α and β power changes relative to neutral imagery and that α activity relates inversely to empathy. We therefore investigated the hypothesis that enhanced β is associated with personal distress and is accompanied by a correlation between α and perspective-taking. Participants viewed negative and neutral valence images from the International Affective Picture System and made judgments about their levels of concern for humans in each image. As predicted, greater β enhancement was associated with higher personal distress, whereas greater α-band suppression was associated with lower perspective-taking abilities. We suggest that these data support Batson's Empathy-Altruism hypothesis in which failure to adopt another person's perspective is related to greater personal distress.

KW - β rhythms

KW - electroencephalography

KW - empathy

KW - personal distress

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=80052953517&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=80052953517&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1097/WNR.0b013e32834ab439

DO - 10.1097/WNR.0b013e32834ab439

M3 - Article

VL - 22

SP - 744

EP - 748

JO - NeuroReport

JF - NeuroReport

SN - 0959-4965

IS - 15

ER -