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Social cognitive neuroscience

History and Methods in Social Cognitive Neuroscience: – Scholarly works on neural bases of social cognition date back to Phineas Gage in 1849. – Modern […]

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History and Methods in Social Cognitive Neuroscience:
– Scholarly works on neural bases of social cognition date back to Phineas Gage in 1849.
– Modern social cognitive neuroscience began with Michael Gazzaniga’s book ‘Social Brain’ in 1985.
– Mirror neurons were discovered in macaque frontoparietal cortex in 1996.
– The term ‘social cognitive neuroscience’ was coined in 2000 by Matthew Lieberman and Kevin Ochsner.
– The adoption of fMRI in social cognitive neuroscience research led to explosive growth in the field.

Functional Anatomy in Social Cognitive Neuroscience:
– Social cognition is primarily subserved by the mirror neuron system (MNS) and default mode network (DMN).
– MNS identifies observable actions, while DMN infers unobservable mental states.
– Feedforward, feedback, and recurrent processing play roles in social cognition.
– The exact functions and interactions within and between MNS and DMN are not fully understood.

Brain Regions in Social Cognitive Neuroscience:
– Mirror neurons fire when actions are performed or observed.
– The premotor cortex is involved in motor control, planning, and higher cognitive functions.
– The intraparietal sulcus is involved in processing action observation.
– Lateral Occipitotemporal Cortex (LOTC) is associated with visual processing and abstract action representations.
– Medial Prefrontal Cortex (mPFC) is associated with abstract social cognition and self-representation.

Specific Brain Regions and Functions in Social Cognitive Neuroscience:
– Temporoparietal Junction (TPJ) is critical for distinguishing between multiple agents and involved in abstract social cognitive tasks.
– Superior Temporal Sulcus (STS) is associated with social vision and biological motion processing.
– Ventrolateral Prefrontal Cortex (VLPFC) is linked to emotional and inhibitory processing.
– Insula plays a critical role in emotional processing and empathy.

Social Cognitive Neuroscience Research Trends and Studies:
– Insights from computational neuroimaging to social neuroscience.
– Inter-brain synchrony and cooperation context in interactive decision making.
– Self-Processing and the Default Mode Network interactions with the Mirror Neuron System.
– Trends involving joint control of visually guided actions, machine learning techniques in neural representations, and brain mechanisms for embodied and abstract-symbolic semantics.

Social cognitive neuroscience (Wikipedia)

Social cognitive neuroscience is the scientific study of the biological processes underpinning social cognition. Specifically, it uses the tools of neuroscience to study "the mental mechanisms that create, frame, regulate, and respond to our experience of the social world". Social cognitive neuroscience uses the epistemological foundations of cognitive neuroscience, and is closely related to social neuroscience. Social cognitive neuroscience employs human neuroimaging, typically using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Human brain stimulation techniques such as transcranial magnetic stimulation and transcranial direct-current stimulation are also used. In nonhuman animals, direct electrophysiological recordings and electrical stimulation of single cells and neuronal populations are utilized for investigating lower-level social cognitive processes.

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