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NeuroThe New Brain Sciences and the Management of the Mind$
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Nikolas Rose and Joelle M. Abi-Rached

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691149608

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691149608.001.0001

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The Social Brain

The Social Brain

(p.141) Chapter Five The Social Brain

Nikolas Rose

Joelle M. Abi-Rached

Princeton University Press

This chapter looks at the social brain hypothesis. The term social brain has come to stand for the argument that the human brain, and indeed that of some other animals, is specialized for a collective form of life. One part of this argument is evolutionary: that the size and complexity of the brains of primates, including humans, are related to the size and complexity of their characteristic social groups. However, the social brain hypothesis is more than a general account of the role of brain size: for in this thesis, the capacities for sociality are neurally located in a specific set of brain regions shaped by evolution, notably the amygdala, orbital frontal cortex, and temporal cortex—regions that have the function of facilitating an understanding of what one might call the “mental life” of others.

Keywords:   social brain hypothesis, social brain, brain size, social groups, sociality, evolution, amygdala, orbital frontal cortex, temporal cortex, mental life

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