An Agent Model for Cognitive and Affective Empathic Understanding of Other Agents

  • Zulfiqar A. Memon
  • Jan Treur
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7190)


This paper focuses on modelling capabilities to interpret another person’s mind, taking into account both affective and cognitive states. A basic agent model to generate emotional responses and feelings in response to certain stimuli is taken as a point of departure. For the case these stimuli concern observation of another person’s body state (e.g., face expressions), emotion reading is achieved, following the Simulation Theory approach to mindreading. Furthermore, by taking (internal) cognitive states instead of stimuli as a source for emotional responses, it is shown how to model the way in which a person associates feelings to cognitive states. Moreover, it is shown how another person can obtain empathic understanding of a person by simulating the way in which feelings are associated to cognitive states. The obtained agent model describes how the empathic agent deals with another agent’s cognitive states and the associated feelings, thus not only understanding the other agent’s cognitive state but at the same time feeling the accompanying emotion of the other agent.


Cognitive agent model empathic understanding mindreading 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zulfiqar A. Memon
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jan Treur
    • 1
  1. 1.Agent Systems Research GroupVU University AmsterdamAmsterdamNetherlands
  2. 2.Sukkur Institute of Business Administration (Sukkur IBA)SindhPakistan

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