The Functional Neuroanatomy of Envy

Jane E. Joseph, Caitlin A.J. Powell, Nathan F. Johnson, Gayannée Kedia

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This chapter first describes the functional neuroanatomy for emotional processing in general and outlines neuroscientific techniques used to study emotional processing. Second, it discusses neuroimaging findings on the core features of envy, including research on inferiority and social comparison, deservingness and unfairness, and hostility. Third, it presents neuroimaging findings on secondary features of envy such as guilt, embarrassment, and shame. Fourth, it discusses recent research on schadenfreude (pleasure at the misfortune of others) that has been shown to be a frequent consequence of envy when an envied person suffers. Finally, it sketches out a hypothesized functional neuroanatomical network for envy, drawing on research from envy, facets of envy, and other related emotions. The chapter then suggests research questions for testing with future human neuroimaging studies that have envy and related emotions as their focus.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEnvy
Subtitle of host publicationTheory and Research
ISBN (Electronic)9780199301485
StatePublished - Apr 1 2010

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Oxford University Press, 2014. All Rights Reserved.


  • Emotional processing
  • Envy
  • Neuroanatomy
  • Neuroimaging
  • Schadenfreude

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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