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Published March 25, 2010 | Accepted Version
Journal Article Open

Conceptual Challenges and Directions for Social Neuroscience


Social neuroscience has been enormously successful and is making major contributions to fields ranging from psychiatry to economics. Yet deep and interesting conceptual challenges abound. Is social information processing domain specific? Is it universal or susceptible to individual differences and effects of culture? Are there uniquely human social cognitive abilities? What is the "social brain," and how do we map social psychological processes onto it? Animal models together with fMRI and other cognitive neuroscience approaches in humans are providing an unprecedented level of detail and many surprising results. It may well be that social neuroscience in the near future will give us an entirely new view of who we are, how we evolved, and what might be in store for the future of our species.

Additional Information

© 2010 Elsevier Inc. Available online 24 March 2010. Supported in part by grants from NIH, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Simons Foundation, and the Tamagawa University global Centers of Excellence program of the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports and Technology. I am grateful to John Cacioppo, Rebecca Saxe, Michael Spezio, Ian Krajbich, Nao Tsuchiya, Ueli Rutishauser, and four anonymous reviewers for helpful comments.

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