Emotional empathy plays a crucial role in social intra-species and inter-species interactions. However the roleof interspecies interactions and of some personality components was underestimated. The present research explored electrophysiological correlates of affective processing in relation to emotionally valenced human-human (HH) and human-animal (HA) interactions. Further, we explored the link between such cortical responses and personality empathic profile as measured by the Balanced Emotional Empathy Scale (BEES) and the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI). Both HH and HA interactions was associated to a significant increase of N300 and P300 deflections in response to positive and negative compared with neutral interactions. However, whereas N300 was mainly influenced by stimuli valence and was frontally distributed, P300 seemed to be mainly modulated by the stimuli attentional relevance and showed even a posterior distribution. Finally, a significant association was found between emotional empathy trait (BEES) and N300 amplitude. Results are discussed in light of the significance of empathic traits in mediating species-specific and species-aspecific relationships.
- Emotional empathy
- intra/ inter-species