The Amygdala And Social Cognition

Decent Essays

1. What does the amygdala contribute to social cognition? Choose two or three specific social cognitive processes and review the evidence in support of amygdala participation. (Please note that you DO NOT need to read outside of our articles.

The importance of the amygdala in social cognitions has been examined in both primate and human studies. Use of primates to study the social brain suggests that the amygdala contributes to social cognition. Kluver and Bucy made large bilateral lesions in monkey brains made across the amygdala, temporal neocortex, and surrounding structure. After the lesion, the animals engaged in hypersexual behaviors, unusual tameness, and a lack of knowledge about emotional stimuli. Lesions exclusively targeting the monkey’s amygdala resulted in similar, but more subtle impairments. This suggest that the amygdala may play a role in emotions elicited by social cues. Studies of the amygdala’s role in human social cognition suggest that the temporal lobes process socially relevant facial information from humans. Emotions from facial expressions, in particular fear are projected to the amygdala. Studies using FMRI to examine typical subjects and subjects with amygdala damage support this theory. Individuals with amygdala damage have difficulty recognizing facial expressions, specifically negative emotions such as fear.
Findings from animal and human studies further suggest that the amygdala processes stimuli that are ambiguous and for which additional

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