Research Goal and Hypotheses
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The present study aims to expand current scientific knowledge about the neural bases of empathy, particularly focusing on socio-cognitive skills and egocentricity in the normal and autistic population. Following an interdisciplinary approach by combining behavioral and neurophysiological data in one paradigm, the present thesis targets to add valuable insights to the research on social exclusion and emotional egocentricity while over-coming the limitations of past studies and ultimately aims to present a more complete picture of differential empathic processing and the development of egocentric judgements in the brain (Zaki & Ochsner, 2012). A newly developed paradigm targeting simultaneously felt emotions in the self and others during an artificially induced social situation will help clarifying this essential ability to distinguish one’s own emotions from those of others in situation of congruent and incongruent emotions.
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