Empathy: Its ultimate and proximate bases.

  title={Empathy: Its ultimate and proximate bases.},
  author={Stephanie D. Preston and Frans B. M. de Waal},
  journal={The Behavioral and brain sciences},
  volume={25 1},
          1-20; discussion 20-71
There is disagreement in the literature about the exact nature of the phenomenon of empathy. There are emotional, cognitive, and conditioning views, applying in varying degrees across species. An adequate description of the ultimate and proximate mechanism can integrate these views. Proximately, the perception of an object's state activates the subject's corresponding representations, which in turn activate somatic and autonomic responses. This mechanism supports basic behaviors (e.g., alarm… 

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