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Singer and Fehr: The neuroeconomics of mind reading and empathy

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Singer and Fehr. 2005. The neuroeconomics of mind reading and empathy. AEA Papers and Proceedings.

In Brief

A brief review of what we know about mind reading and empathy, more generally called "theory of mind."

People's minds can emulate what other people's minds do. Mirror neurons light up in respond to motion. Similarly, the same parts of my brain are active whether I am in pain or whether I observe someone in pain--even if I'm observing a stranger.

The authors outline their plans for future research, which includes a study into whether we respond differently to seeing somebody in pain depending on whether we like the person.