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Home Industry News Human brain structure linked with social behaviour

Human brain structure linked with social behaviour

29th December 2010

A new study has revealed that the size of a certain structure within the human brain may be associated with a person's ability to sustain a complex social life.

Scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital have found that test subjects with a rich and varied network of social contacts possess a larger amygdala, a small structure located within the temporal lobe.

This trend, which was measured using MRI brain scans, has been previously observed in other primates and was shown to hold true among male and female patients across a wide variety of age groups.

It was also noted that no similar relationship was found between human social lives and any other subcortical structure.

Dr Lisa Feldman Barrett of the Massachusetts General Hospital Psychiatric Neuroimaging Research Program said the findings are consistent with the theory that the amygdala has evolved to help humans cope with complex social interactions.

She added: "We and other researchers are also trying to understand how abnormalities in these brain regions may impair social behaviour in neurologic and psychiatric disorders."

Earlier this month, Stanford University School of Medicine research showed that MRI brain scans can also be used to determine the likelihood that dyslexia sufferers will gain reading skills later in life.ADNFCR-8000103-ID-800315148-ADNFCR

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