Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New findings illuminate basis in brain for social decisions, reactions

Date:
October 16, 2012
Source:
Society for Neuroscience
Summary:
New insights into the wiring and firing of the "social brain" in humans and primates reveals the brain areas important in altruistic motives and behavior, and the brain regions that respond to the pain of discrimination.

New insights into the wiring and firing of the "social brain" in humans and primates reveals the brain areas important in altruistic motives and behavior, and the brain regions that respond to the pain of discrimination. The findings were presented at Neuroscience 2012, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience and the world's largest source of emerging news about brain science and health.

The social brain consists of the structures and circuits that help people understand others' intentions, beliefs, and desires, and how to behave appropriately. Its smooth functioning is essential to humans' ability to cooperate. Its dysfunction is implicated in a range of disorders, from autism, to psychopathology, to schizophrenia.

Today's new findings show that:

  • Primates employ three different parts of the prefrontal cortex in decisions about whether to give or keep prized treats. These findings illuminate a poorly understood brain circuit, and offer possible insights into human sharing and other social behavior (Steve Chang, PhD, abstract 129.10).
  • Different brain regions are engaged in altruistic behavior that is motivated by genuine caring versus altruistic behavior motivated by a concern for reputation or self-image (Cendri Hutcherson, PhD, abstract 129.06).
  • The experience of racial discrimination triggers activity in the same brain regions that respond to pain, social rejection, and other stressful experiences (Arpana Gupta, PhD, abstract 402.06).

Another recent finding discussed shows that:

  • Competition against a human opponent or a computer engages the same parts of the brain, with one exception: the temporal parietal junction is used to predict only a human's upcoming actions (Ronald Carter, PhD).

"Whenever we engage with others -- or even anticipate others' responses to us -- the social brain is at work, shaping our actions, reactions, and interactions," said press conference moderator Anna Rose Childress, PhD, of the University of Pennsylvania, an expert in neuroimaging and addiction research. "The more we understand the brain processes that underlie basic social emotions, the better we will be able to address conditions that involve social dysfunctions."

This research was supported by national funding agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, as well as private and philanthropic organizations.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society for Neuroscience. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Society for Neuroscience. "New findings illuminate basis in brain for social decisions, reactions." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121016173138.htm>.
Society for Neuroscience. (2012, October 16). New findings illuminate basis in brain for social decisions, reactions. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121016173138.htm
Society for Neuroscience. "New findings illuminate basis in brain for social decisions, reactions." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121016173138.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The brains of artists aren't really left-brain or right-brain, but rather have extra neural matter in visual and motor control areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins