Cognitive empathy is defined as the ability to recognize what another person is thinking or feeling, and to predict their behavior.

"Cognitive empathy is distinct from affective empathy, the latter of which is defined as the drive to respond to another’s mental states with an appropriate emotion.1, 2Difficulties in cognitive empathy have been found in different psychiatric conditions, particularly autism.3 The dissociation between cognitive and affective empathy (the latter is often intact in autism, for example, whilst it is invariably impaired in antisocial personality disorder) suggests these have independent biological mechanisms.Differences in cognitive empathy have been identified in individuals with psychiatric conditions such as autism,4 schizophrenia5, 6 and anorexia nervosa.7 This includes either elevated or reduced cognitive empathy in comparison to neurotypical controls, either of which can contribute to difficulties in social interactions and wellbeing/"


"Genome-wide meta-analysis of cognitive empathy: heritability, and correlates with sex, neuropsychiatric conditions and cognition"

"We conducted a genome-wide meta-analysis of cognitive empathy using the ‘Reading the Mind in the Eyes’ Test (Eyes Test) in 88,056 research volunteers of European Ancestry (44,574 females and 43,482 males) from 23andMe Inc., and an additional 1497 research volunteers of European Ancestry (891 females and 606 males) from the Brisbane Longitudinal Twin Study. We confirmed a female advantage on the Eyes Test (Cohen’s d=0.21, P<2.2 × 10−16), and identified a locus in 3p26.1 that is associated with scores on the Eyes Test in females (rs7641347, Pmeta=1.58 × 10−8). Common single nucleotide polymorphisms explained 5.8% (95% CI: 4.5%–7.2%; P=1.00 × 10−17) of the total trait variance in both sexes, and we identified a twin heritability of 28% (95% CI: 13%–42%). Finally, we identified significant genetic correlation between the Eyes Test and anorexia nervosa, openness (NEO-Five Factor Inventory), and different measures of educational attainment and cognitive aptitude."