Chapter 15 - The Social and Emotional Brain

Links and Media

Lecture by Uta Frith on autism and theory-of-mind
Lecture by Joseph Le Doux on the emotional brain
Rebecca Saxe discusses how morality can be studied with neuroscience
A series of talks on social neuroscience given by David Eagleman. Many of the topics focus on how we can understand violence, obedience, and group pressure

Additional Reading

An influential, but controversial, view that emotions represent a continuous space of possibilities rather than discrete kinds
Feldman Barrett, L. (2006). Are emotions natural kinds?. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 1, 28–58.
An fMRI study that endorsed the claim that mirror systems act as a mechanism for empathy: they find that seeing facial expressions activates both “mirror regions” and parts of the emotional brain
Carr, L., Iacoboni, M., Dubeau, M. C., Mazziotta, J. C., & Lenzi, G. L. (2003). Neural mechanisms of empathy in humans: A relay from neural systems for imitation to limbic areas. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 100(9), 5497–5502.
An overview of the orbitofrontal cortex and its role in emotions and in guiding behavior
Kringelbach, M. L. (2005). The human orbitofrontal cortex: Linking reward to hedonic experience. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 6, 691–702.
One of the first pieces of empirical evidence linking autism with a deficit in mirroring
Oberman, L. M., Hubbard, E. M., McCleery, J. P., Altschuler, E. L., Ramachandran, V. S., & Pineda, J. A. (2005). EEG evidence for mirror neuron dysfunction in autism spectrum disorders. Cognitive Brain Research, 24, 190–19.8.