Navigation Links
Structure deep within the brain may contribute to a rich, varied social life
Date:12/26/2010

Scientists have discovered that the amygdala, a small almond shaped structure deep within the temporal lobe, is important to a rich and varied social life among humans. The finding was published this week in a new study in Nature Neuroscience and is similar to previous findings in other primate species, which compared the size and complexity of social groups across those species.

"We know that primates who live in larger social groups have a larger amygdala, even when controlling for overall brain size and body size," says Lisa Feldman Barrett, PhD, of the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Psychiatric Neuroimaging Research Program and a Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Northeastern University, who led the study. "We considered a single primate species, humans, and found that the amygdala volume positively correlated with the size and complexity of social networks in adult humans."

The researchers also performed an exploratory analysis of all the subcortical structures within the brain and found no compelling evidence of a similar relationship between any other subcortical structure and the social life of humans. The volume of the amygdala was not related to other social variables in the life of humans such as life support or social satisfaction.

"This link between amygdala size and social network size and complexity was observed for both older and younger individuals and for both men and women," says Bradford C. Dickerson, MD, of the MGH Department of Neurology and the Martinos Center for Biomedical Research. "This link was specific to the amygdala, because social network size and complexity were not associated with the size of other brain structures." Dickerson is an associate professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, and co-led the study with Dr. Barrett.

The researchers asked 58 participants to report information about the size and the complexity of their social networks by completing standard questionnaires that measured the total number of regular social contacts that each participant maintained, as well the number of different groups to which these contacts belonged. Participants, ranging in age from 19 to 83 years, also received a magnetic resonance imaging brain scan to gather information about the structure of various brain structures, including the volume of the amygdala.

A member of the the Martinos Center at MGH, Barrett also notes that the results of the study were consistent with the "social brain hypothesis," which suggests that the human amygdala might have evolved partially to deal with an increasingly complex social life. "Further research is in progress to try to understand more about how the amygdala and other brain regions are involved in social behavior in humans," she says. "We and other researchers are also trying to understand how abnormalities in these brain regions may impair social behavior in neurologic and psychiatric disorders."


'/>"/>

Contact: Marty Ray
aray6@partners.org
617-726-0274
Massachusetts General Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Gestational Period Depends on Structure of Placenta: Research
2. Growth factor regenerates tooth supporting structures: Results of a large randomized clinical trial
3. Structured Diet, Exercise Plans Seem to Shed Pounds
4. Study details structure of potential target for HIV and cancer drugs
5. Feeling Introspective? Your Brain Structure May Be Key
6. Edible nanostructures
7. Menstrual cramps may alter brain structure
8. Viral protein structure study offers HIV therapy hope
9. Cancers of sweat glands, other skin-related structures may be increasing in United States
10. System that predicts protein structures could help researchers design drugs
11. VRMeetings, Inc. Deploys the most Advanced Web-Based Video Conferencing and Document Collaboration Service over the Managed NTT America IT Infrastructure
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/17/2017)... ... January 17, 2017 , ... The Sharie Withers ... has announced the latest beneficiary of their thriving community involvement program. The current ... to fulfilling the dreams of terminally ill patients. Donations to this worthy cause ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... ... January 17, 2017 , ... Many people make New Year’s resolutions or renew their ... is making it easier for people who want to kick off 2017 with better ... existing patients. , These special offers include: , , A ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... ... 17, 2017 , ... Twelve (12) years ago the Yogi ... program forged a relationship built upon the foundation of sports safety. Recently, ... both student members and certified members of the Athletic Trainers’ Society of New ...
(Date:1/16/2017)... ... January 17, 2017 , ... Recently, patients and staff ... Michigan, joined other volunteers and organizations in support of the annual Binder Park Zoo ... families dressed up in colorful costumes of all designs coming out to enjoy games, ...
(Date:1/16/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Gym Source, America’s leading retailer of premium residential and commercial ... Jersey. , “We are elated to be opening this new showroom,” explains Tom Richard, ... give clients a seamless and motivating shopping experience.” , Every fitness journey is unique, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:1/16/2017)... , Jan. 16, 2017  Verathon ® Inc., a leading ... launch of new GlideScope ® Spectrum TM Single-Use video ... Control TM and Ambient Light Reduction TM technology, which ... ... Introducing another ...
(Date:1/16/2017)... ROCKVILLE, Md. , Jan. 16, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... tomography (CT) systems market is valued at $4.9 ... applications for CT, coupled with an aging population ... incidence of chronic disease, is propelling the market ... report, Computed Tomography Markets , focuses on ...
(Date:1/16/2017)... 16, 2017 The ... Type (Methyl, Ethyl, Hydroxyethyl, Hydroxypropyl, Carboxymethyl Cellulose), ... Surface Coatings & Paints), Region - Global ... market was valued at USD 4.51 Billion ... USD 6.41 Billion by 2021, at a ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: