Humans understand and share others' emotions and this empathy ability is critical for prosocial behavior. However, we do not empathize everyone equally. Racial in-group favoritism in empathy and altruism has been documented widely. We have been trying to understand the neural correlates of racial in-group bias in empathy using different neuroimaging methods. I'll present the results of our recent neuroimaging studies that outline the neural, cognitive, and genetic mechanisms underlying racial in-group bias in empathy for pain, and different approaches that may reduce the racial in-group bias in empathic neural responses.
Shihui Han is a professor of the Department of Psychology and PKU-IDG/McGovern Institute for Brain Research at Peking University. He is the founding chief editor of Culture and Brain. His research focuses on sociocultural and genetic influences on neural correlates of social cognition such as self-referential processing, empathy for others' pain, and death-related thoughts.