Psicologia: Reflexão e Crítica
On-line version ISSN 1678-7153
BUTMAN, Judith and ALLEGRI, Ricardo F.. Social Cognition and the Brain Cortex. Psicol. Reflex. Crit. [online]. 2001, vol.14, n.2, pp. 275-279. ISSN 1678-7153. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-79722001000200003.
Social cognition refers to the processes that subserve behavior in response to other individuals of the same species. Several brain structures play a key role in guiding social behaviors: ventromedial prefrontal cortex, amygdala, right somatosensory cortex and insula. The ventromedial prefrontal cortex is most directly involved in social reasoning and decision making; the amygdala in social judgment of faces, the right somatosensory cortex in empathy and simulation and the insula in autonomic responses. These findings are corresponding to the somatic marker hypothesis, particular mechanism by which we acquire, represent and retrieve the values of our actions. These brain structures appear to mediate between perceptual representation of social stimuli and retrieval of knowledge that such stimuli can trigger. The limbic system is the border zone where psychology meets neurology. The synchronization of these functions and structures is the key for a human being free of pathology.
Keywords : Social cognition; prefrontal; amygdala; reasoning; emotion; brain cortex.