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Soc Neurosci. 2012;7(1):18-29. doi: 10.1080/17470919.2011.568702. Epub 2011 Jun 30.

Social neuroscience: the social brain, oxytocin, and health.

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  • 1Department of Psychology and Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.


Complex social behaviors allow various social organisms to create emergent organizations that extend beyond the individual. Social neuroscience is a burgeoning field that strives to understand the genetic, hormonal, and neural mechanisms responsible for these social structures and behaviors. Consequently, social neuroscience is highly interdisciplinary in nature and embraces the application of methods ranging from the molecular to the molar to investigate the reciprocal interactions between biological, cognitive, and social levels of analysis. The broad scope of such an endeavor introduces particular challenges associated with the integration of multiple levels of analysis. In the present mini-review, we highlight some recent findings in the field of social neuroscience and demonstrate the potential benefits of applying multilevel integrative analysis to the study of social behavior and its influence on physiology and health.

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