Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
In the last decade, a growing research effort in behavioral sciences, especially psychology and neuroscience, has been invested in the study of the cognitive, biological, and evolutionary foundations of social behavior. Differently from the case of sociology, which studies social behavior also at the group level in terms of organizations and structures, psychology and neuroscience often define “social” as a feature of the individual brain that allows an efficient interaction with conspecifics, and thus constitutes a possible evolutionary advantage (Matusall). In this view, an extremely wide range of mental and neural processes can be classified as “social,” from the coding of relevant sensory stimuli about conspecifics (facial expressions, gestures, vocalizations, etc.), to the selection and planning of behavioral responses in complex interpersonal settings (economic transactions, negotiations, etc.). Despite such heterogeneity, there is a converging interest in the scientific community toward the identification of neural and psychological mechanisms that underlie all the many facets of social behavior, and their comparison across species and cultures.
Corradi-Dell'Acqua, Corrado; Koban, Leonie; Leiberg, Susanne; and Vuilleumier, Patrik, "Editorial: What Determines Social Behavior? Investigating the Role of Emotions, Self-Centered Motives, and Social Norms." (2016). Institute of Cognitive Science Faculty Contributions. 1.