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[Development of social cognition: a functional neuroimaging approach].

Review article
Sadato N. Nihon Shinkei Seishin Yakurigaku Zasshi. 2012.


Social cognition is defined as the capacity to engage in information processing with the aim of accurate cognition of other persons' character or intentions. Development of social cognition can be observed in behavioral patterns. However, their neural basis remains largely unknown. A functional neuroimaging technique has enabled us to observe neural activities in the human brain noninvasively. First the principle and history of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and its future perspective are introduced. As an example, presented is our attempt to apply simultaneous fMRI measurements of two individuals to elucidate the neural basis of joint attention, one of the most important behavioral milestones in the development of social cognition. Second, neural substrates of pro-social behavior are discussed. Specifically, it was found that social acceptance or praise is important for human altruistic behavior, and has a neural basis similar to that of basic reward or monetary reward. Lastly, I stress the importance of combining current and ongoing progress in neuroscience, from the 'micro' through 'macro' levels, with scholarship within the humanities. As a connecting node for the different research fields, functional neuroimaging techniques will play a critical for the ultimate goal of comprehensive understanding of human social cognition.


23373319 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Article in Japanese.
 Citation 6 of 137 Back to results 

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