Extraordinary Altruism and Transcending the Self

Molly J. Crockett, Patricia L. Lockwood

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Longstanding psychological theories posit a link between empathy and altruism. A new study of anonymous kidney donors finds these ‘extraordinary altruists’ show an increased overlap in neural responses to pain for self and others. These findings, alongside other recent studies of altruism, shed new light on the nature of selflessness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1071-1073
Number of pages3
JournalTrends in Cognitive Sciences
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


  • empathy
  • exceptional altruism
  • left anterior insula
  • selflessness


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