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:10/13/2017)... ... 13, 2017 , ... While it’s often important to take certain medications during ... Austin, Texas, has identified a solution. , She developed a prototype for MOTION LIGHT-UP ... such, it eliminates the need to turn on a light when taking medication during ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Lori R. Somekh, founder ... of ElderCounsel, a national organization of elder law and special needs planning attorneys. “Membership ... rules. It also provides a forum to network with elder law attorneys nationwide,” said ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... Global Healthcare ... scenic Alexandria Park in Milford, NJ. This free event, sponsored by Global Healthcare ... activity. The fun run is geared towards children of all ages; it is ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... “America On The Brink”: the ... “America On The Brink” is the creation of published author, William Nowers. Captain ... As a WWII veteran, he spent thirty years in the Navy. Following his ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... IsoComforter, Inc. ( https://isocomforter.com ... the introduction of an innovative new design of the shoulder pad. The shoulder ... maximum comfort while controlling your pain while using cold therapy. By utilizing ice and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/2/2017)... ORLANDO, Fla. , Oct. 2, 2017  AllianceRx ... services company formed by Walgreens and pharmacy benefit manager ... of its new brand, which included the unveiling of ... Fla. , as well as at a few ... introduces the new brand to patients, some of whom ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... The Rebound mobile app is poised to become ... tide of prescription drug addiction. The app empowers users to ... stepping down their dosage in a safe, controlled manner while ... the first 100,000 people to sign up will enjoy 3 ... ...
(Date:9/28/2017)... Cohen Veterans Bioscience and Early Signal Foundation ... and home sensors for real-time monitoring of patients with ... nonprofit organization focused on disruptive health solutions for rare ... system to record and integrate behavioral, cognitive, physiological and ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: