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PSYC 213
Signy Sheldon

ADOLPHS ARTICLE Social Cognition and the Human Brain Social cognition processes that subserve behavior in response to conspecifics other individuals of the same species esp those higher cognitive processes subserving the extremely diverse and flexiblesocial behaviors that are seen in primatesEvolution from interplay of 1 Groups can provide better security from predators better mate choice and more reliable food 2 Mates and food are available also to competitors from within the groupMechanisms for cooperativity altruism and other aspects of prosocial behavior and also coercion deception and manipulation of conspecifics dominance hierarchiesCorrelation btw mean group size and neocortex volume in primate species and other mammals like bats carnivores and toothed whales o The larger the group size the larger the brains o Machiavellian Intelligence HypothesisSocial Brain Hypothesis cooperativity and deception led to an advantage for larger brainsSpecific neural systems that subserve various aspects of social cognition amygdala temporal cortex anterior cingulated cortex and orbitofrontal cortexAn Overview of neurobiology of social cognition in primatesNonhuman primates o Macroscopic and microscopic findings first suggested that primate brain may contain neural systems specialized for processing socially relevant info o 1930s Kluver and Bucy made bilateral lesions in amygdale temporal neocortex etcAble to perceive and respond to objects in enviro but behaved inappropriately with respect to emotional significance that objects would normally signalCompulsive examination of objects esp with mouth hypersexuality unusual tameness and complete lack of awareness of emotional significance of stimuli psychic blindnessSelective amygdala damage impair disproportionately behaviors normally elicited by social cues so some components of amygdala contribute to social behavior o Single neurons in monkey inferotemporal cortex respond selectively to sight of facesModulate response to preferential info about faces like identity social status or emotional expression o Some neurons response to complex scenes of social interaction and also face features that can signal social info like gaze directionHumans o Emotional and social development of humans is extraordinarily complex effected by genes parental behavior and culture influence o Social impairments after frontal lobe damage and also in people with autism
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