In everyday life we actively react to the emotional expressions of others, responding by showing matching, or sometimes contrasting, expressions. Emotional mimicry has important social functions such as signalling affiliative intent and fostering rapport, and is considered one of the cornerstones of successful interactions. This book provides a multidisciplinary overview of research into emotional mimicry and empathy, and explores when, how and why emotional mimicry occurs. Focusing on recent developments in the field, the chapters cover a variety of approaches and research questions, such as the role of literature in empathy and emotional mimicry, the most important brain areas involved in the mimicry of emotions, the effects of specific psychopathologies on mimicry, why smiling may be a special case in mimicry, whether we can also mimic vocal emotional expressions, individual differences in mimicry and the role of social contexts in mimicry.
Introduction: why and how we mimic emotions Agneta H. Fischer and Ursula Hess; 1. On the sharing of mind Keith Oatley; 2. The role of mimicry in understanding the emotions of others Marielle Stel; 3. Revisiting the simulation of smiles model: the what, when, and why of mimicking smiles Paula M. Niedenthal, Sebastian Korb, Adrienne Wood and Magdalena Rychlowska; 4. The neuroscience of mimicry during social interactions Leo Schilbach; 5. The social dimension as antecedent and effect of emotional mimicry Ursula Hess, Isabell Huhnerl, Job van der Schalk and Agneta H. Fischer; 6. More than just a mirror: examining the cross-channel mimicry of emotional expressions Skyler Hawk and Agneta H. Fischer; 7. Emotional mimicry: underlying mechanisms and individual differences Marianne Sonnby-Borgstroem; 8. Mimicry, emotion, and social context: insights from typical and atypical humans, robots, and androids Piotr Winkielman, Liam C. Kavanagh and Evan Carr; 9. The neurological basis of empathy and mimicry Miriam Schuler, Sebastian Mohnke and Henrik Walter; 10. Conclusion: towards a better understanding of emotional mimicry Ursula Hess and Agneta H. Fischer.