Social neuroscience investigates the biological mechanisms that underlie social structures, processes and behavior as well as the influence of these social structures, processes, and behaviors on the brain and biology. Such an endeavor is challenging because it necessitates the integration of multiple levels. Mapping across systems and levels (from genome to cultures) requires interdisciplinary expertise, comparative studies, innovative methods, and integrative conceptual analysis. Recent work on empathy constitutes a successful example of bridging across levels of analysis. We conclude by discussing some important societal implications of social neuroscience.