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Social Cognitive Neuroscience

Definition

Social cognitive neuroscience is the study of the processes in the human brain that allow people to understand others, understand themselves, and navigate the social world effectively. Social cognitive neuroscience draws on theories and psychological phenomena from across the social sciences, including social cognition, political cognition, behavioral economics, and anthropology. The tools used to study these topics are also wide-ranging, including functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), positron emission tomography, transcranial magnetic stimulation, event-related potentials, single-cell recording, and neuropsychological lesion techniques.

Background and History

The notion that social behavior and social cognition have biological roots extends back thousands of years to at least Galen in ancient Greece who suggested that our social nature was influenced by the admixture of four substances in our bodies called humors. These four ...

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