Prosocial attitudes and proactive behavior in emotional situation. The contribute of ERPs measures

Ylenia Canavesio, Michela Balconi

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in libroContributo a convegno


The present research investigated firstly the neural correlates (ERPs, event-related potentials) of decisions to engage in prosocial-helping behaviors, and secondly the relation between these brain-based potentials and personal profile (high vs. low empathic profile). It was considered the subjects’ behavior in response to specific emotional situations (positive vs. negative) where it was required a possible prosocial intervention. Thirty one subjects were invited to empathize with the emotional contexts (videotapes that reproduced two-persons exchanges) and to decide whether to intervene or not to support the agents. BEES questionnaire for empathic behavior was submitted to the subjects after the experimental session. ERP acquisition and LORETA source analysis revealed a negative ongoing deflection (N200 effect) more prefrontally distributed (dorsolateral prefrontal cortex) was found in response to prosocial intervention options mainly for negative and positive contexts in comparison with no intervention options. Moreover, a significant positive correlation was found between high-empathic profile and the intervention behavior (higher frequency of interventions) and N200 amplitude (higher peak). These result highlight the role of emotions in prosocial behavior, since the N200 effect was considered a marker of the emotional significance of the interpersonal situation for the subject. Secondly, the empathic trait may explain the pro-social decisional-processes: higher empathic involvement contributes to favour subject’s intervention behavior and it appears to be directly related to the cortical responsiveness within the prefrontal areas.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteAtti del "Convegno Scientifico Internazionale di Neuroetica"
Numero di pagine1
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2012
EventoConvegno Scientifico Internazionale di Neuroetica - Padova
Durata: 9 mag 201211 mag 2012


ConvegnoConvegno Scientifico Internazionale di Neuroetica


  • neuropsychology


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