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Social neuroscience is an interdisciplinary field that considers the mutual implications of neuroscience and social science for understanding of social and affective aspects of behavior. Social neuroscience investigates the biological mechanisms underlying social processes and behavior, considered by many to be one of the major problem areas for the neurosciences in the twenty-first century, and uses biological concepts and methods to develop and refine theories of social processes and behavior in the social and behavioral sciences. Throughout most of the 20th century social and biological explanations were cast as incompatible. Advances in recent years have led to the development of a new view synthesized from the social and biological sciences. The new field of social neuroscience emphasizes the complementary nature of the different levels of organization spanning the social and biological domains (e.g., molecular, cellular, system, person, relational, collective, societal) and how multi-level analyses can foster understanding of the mechanisms underlying the human mind and behavior.
Numerous methods are used in social neuroscience to investigate the confluence of neural and social processes, including fMRI, Event-related potentials, Transcranial magnetic stimulation, Electrocardiogram, Electromyogram, Electrodermal Response, and Focal Brain Lesions patients.
Social Neuroscience Journals
- Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience--A new journal whose inaugural issue was published in June of 2006.
- The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, or JPSP, published a special secion on Social Neuroscience in the October 2003 issue of Volume 85.
- Psychophysiology has published several articles related to Social Neuroscience.
- The Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience occasionally publishes articles pertaining to Affective and Social Neuroscience. The December 2004 issue in volume 16 was devoted to a special issue on Social Neuroscience.
References & Bibliography
- John T. Cacioppo, Gary G. Berntson Social Neuroscience: Key Readings, (2004), Psychology Press, ISBN 1-84169-099-6
- What is social neuroscience Introduction from the first issue of the journal Social Neuroscience defining social neuroscience, listing the tools of social neuroscience and addressing the impact of social neuroscience. Published March 2006.
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