Where caring for self and others lives in the brain, and how it can be enhanced and diminished: Observations on the neuroscience of empathy, compassion, and self-compassion

C. Chad Woodruff, Larry Stevens

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In this, the final chapter of our book, we provide reviews of each chapter, summarizing the main points and presenting our (Woodruff’s and Stevens’) own comments where appropriate. We pull together implications of a number of these chapters into an integrated neurological portrait of compassionate experiencing. Next, we present a new model of the empathy-to-compassion process, which conceives of the process as a modulation of egocentric and allocentric representations as the observer comes to understand the other and to ultimately focus attention on the other’s well-being. We conclude by noting some pressing issues needing to be addressed by future research into the neuroscience of empathy, compassion, and self-compassion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Neuroscience of Empathy, Compassion, and Self-Compassion
Number of pages36
ISBN (Electronic)9780128098370
ISBN (Print)9780128098387
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018



  • Compassion
  • Electroencephalography
  • Empathy
  • Fmri
  • Neuroimagery
  • Neuroscience
  • Self-compassion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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