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:5/31/2016)... ... May 31, 2016 , ... To meet a growing ... healthcare industry, The University of Scranton is adding a Certificate in Health Informatics ... career in rapidly growing field of healthcare information. , Healthcare organizations are ...
(Date:5/30/2016)... ... May 30, 2016 , ... Zane Benefits, the leader in ... original infographic, " Health Benefits Reimbursement Compliance Timeline ." , The new ... with various federal regulations and reforms. , Navigating the new health reforms can ...
(Date:5/29/2016)... Viejo, CA (PRWEB) , ... May 29, 2016 , ... ... Volume 3 let's the user control the style of their project," said Christina Austin ... set of 30 self-animating web-themed intros created exclusively for use in Final Cut Pro ...
(Date:5/28/2016)... ... ... where’s it’s easy to spot the neon lights of chains serving fast food, one of ... taste for real food. , On May 13, the Best Western Plus Kelowna ... focusing on dishes made by hand with wholesome, organic ingredients that are sourced locally whenever ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... ... An influential resource amongst nurses and professionals in the health care world, ... of topics detailing why we appreciate nurses in so many different ways. From exclusive ... being in a major recession to one of the hottest growing professions in any ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/26/2016)... , May 26, 2016 ... With Both Cost Savings and Overall Decreased ... (LSE: BTG), an international specialist healthcare company, has ... the 21st Annual Meeting of ISPOR (International Society ... of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) using yttrium-90 glass microspheres ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... May 26, 2016 Since its ... into an essential life science tool for conducting genetic ... BCC Research reveals in its new report that the ... phase, one powered by a range of new applications ...      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140723/694805 ) , ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... , May 25, 2016 According ... by Type (3D, 2D, 4D), by Therapeutic Area (Oncology, ... End User (Medical Device Manufacturers, Hospitals/ Clinics) - Forecast ... global Medical Animation Market for the forecast period of ... USD 301.3 Million by 2021 from USD 117.3 Million ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: