1st Edition

Social Neuroscience
Integrating Biological and Psychological Explanations of Social Behavior

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ISBN 9781593856441
Published January 17, 2008 by Guilford Press
512 Pages

USD $56.00

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Book Description

This compelling volume provides a broad and accessible overview of the emerging field of social neuroscience. Showcasing an array of cutting-edge research programs, leading investigators present new approaches to the study of how the brain influences social behavior, and vice versa. The contributors discuss the theoretical advantages of taking a social neuroscience perspective and analyze what their findings reveal about core social psychological phenomena. Essential topics include emotion, motivation, attitudes, person perception, stereotyping and prejudice, and interpersonal relationships.

Table of Contents

I. Introduction

1. A Brief Overview of Social Neuroscience, Eddie Harmon-Jones and Piotr Winkielman

II. Emotion Processes

2. The Importance of Emotion–Social Cognition Interactions for Social Functioning: Insights from Orbitofrontal Cortex, Jennifer S. Beer

3. Neurobiology of Emotion Recognition: Current Evidence for Shared Substrates, Andrea S. Heberlein and Ralph Adolphs

4. Ten Years of Research with the Trier Social Stress Test—Revisited, Brigitte M. Kudielka, Dirk H. Hellhammer, and Clemens Kirschbaum

5. I Know How You Feel: Social and Emotional Information Processing in the Brain, Catherine J. Norris and John T. Cacioppo

6. How Thinking Controls Feeling: A Social Cognitive Neuroscience Approach, Kevin N. Ochsner

III. Motivation Processes

7. Asymmetrical Frontal Cortical Activity, Affective Valence, and Motivational Direction, Eddie Harmon-Jones

8. Reward: Neural Circuitry for Social Valuation, Brian Knutson and G. Elliott Wimmer

9. A Biobehavioral Model of Implicit Power Motivation Arousal, Reward, and Frustration, Oliver C. Schultheiss

10. Vigilant and Avoidant Responses to Angry Facial Expressions: Dominance and Submission Motives, Jack van Honk and Dennis J. L. G. Schutter

IV. Attitudes and Social Cognition

11. Attitudes and Evaluation: Toward a Component Process Framework, William A. Cunningham and Marcia K. Johnson

12. A Social Cognitive Neuroscience Model of Human Empathy, Jean Decety

13.How Dynamics of Thinking Create Affective and Cognitive Feelings: Psychology and Neuroscience of the Connection between Fluency, Liking, and Memory, Tedra A. Fazendeiro, Troy Chenier, and Piotr Winkielman

14. The X- and C-Systems: The Neural Basis of Automatic and Controlled Social Cognition, Matthew D. Lieberman

15. An Evolutionary Perspective on Domain Specificity in Social Intelligence, Valerie E. Stone

V. Person Perception, Stereotyping, and Prejudice

16. Mechanisms for the Regulation of Intergroup Responses: Insights from a Social Neuroscience Approach, David M. Amodio, Patricia G. Devine, and Eddie Harmon-Jones

17. Social Cognitive Neuroscience of Person Perception: A Selective Review Focused on the Event-Related Brain Potential, Bruce D. Bartholow and Cheryl L. Dickter

18. Social Neuroscience and Social Perception: New Perspectives on Categorization, Prejudice, and Stereotyping, Tiffany A. Ito, Eve Willadsen-Jensen, and Joshua Correll

VI. Interpersonal Relationships

19. Neuropeptides and the Protective Effects of Social Bonds, C. Sue Carter

20. The Quiet Revolution of Existential Neuroscience, Marco Iacoboni

21. Affiliative Responses to Stress: A Social Neuroscience Model, Shelley E. Taylor and Gian C. Gonzaga

22. The Social Neuroscience of Relationships: An Examination of Health-Relevant Pathways, Bert N. Uchino, Julianne Holt-Lunstad, Darcy Uno, Rebecca Campo, and Maija Reblin


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Eddie Harmon-Jones, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Texas A&M University. Dr. Harmon-Jones’s current research focuses on emotions and motivations, their implications for social processes and behaviors, and their underlying neural circuits. His research has been supported by the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Fetzer Institute. In 1999 he coedited Cognitive Dissonance: Progress on a Pivotal Theory in Social Psychology. In 2002 he received the Distinguished Award for an Early Career Contribution to Psychophysiology from the Society for Psychophysiological Research. In 2003 Dr. Harmon-Jones coedited a special issue devoted to social neuroscience for the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. He has also served as an associate editor of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and is on the editorial boards of four other journals.

Piotr Winkielman, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Winkielman’s current research focuses on the relation between emotion, cognition, body, and consciousness using psychological and psychophysiological approaches. His research has been supported by the National Science Foundation and the National Alliance for Autism Research. He has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, and is currently Associate Editor of Emotion. In 2005 Dr. Winkielman coedited Emotion and Consciousness.


The past decade has witnessed great progress in identifying the physiological and neural mechanisms underlying social behavior. This volume brings together many of the leaders of the nascent field of social neuroscience to describe their groundbreaking work in this area. The editors have done a superb job of assembling a broad and representative slate of state-of-the-art chapters. This volume will be valuable for the increasing number of advanced undergraduate and graduate courses focusing on the neurobiology of social behavior, as well as for social and personality psychologists seeking an excellent introduction to the area. Highly recommended.--Todd F. Heatherton, PhD, Champion International Professor, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Dartmouth College

For students unfamiliar with the field, Social Neuroscience provides an accessible overview of the major topics of study and makes a strong case for the need for more research on the physiological and neurological bases of social behavior. In the classroom, this book would be beneficial to advanced undergraduates or graduate students interested in either social psychology or cognitive/behavioral neuroscience.--Sarah Wood, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Stout

James Watson once said, 'there are only molecules; everything else is sociology.' His tongue-in-cheek arrogance reminds us of the great gulf that once separated the 'two cultures' of humanities and science. In the last decade this gap is successfully being bridged by social neuroscience. This fine edited volume presents a readable, comprehensive overview of this exciting new field.--V. S. Ramachandran, MD, PhD, Center for Brain and Cognition, University of California, San Diego
Human beings are intensely social animals, yet intensive study of the biological basis of human social behavior began only quite recently. Brain imaging was the spur to this acceleration of social neuroscience research, but brain imaging alone can never reveal the neural mechanisms underlying human social interactions. Recognizing this shortcoming, Harmon-Jones and Winkielman include a whole range of additional and complementary methodologies in this book, from lesions to hormone analysis. This is an excellent introduction to cutting-edge research in what is undoubtedly going to be the dominant theme in 21st-century neuroscience.--Chris Frith, FRS, Institute of Neurology, University College London, UK
More than a half-century ago, social psychology opened a New Look in perception. Social phenomena occurring below awareness became prime subjects of controversial discourse. Social Neuroscience now demonstrates that, in many cases, what we thought were no more than conjectures have become promising lines of discovery. It organizes in a clear, instructive manner most of what we now know about neural processes underlying significant aspects of social behavior.--Robert Zajonc, PhD, Department of Psychology, Stanford University
Not long ago, social motivation was a matter of others sharing some of their food, warmth, and some sex. Now, with the affect revolution, social motivation has become a cauldron of basic emotional systems and cognitive abilities and desires. This volume summarizes a host of exciting developments in this rapidly emerging field. It brings us up to date with exciting research programs that are illuminating the multidimensional social-affective nature of our existence. We finally have a secure intellectual base from which to launch the next generation of inquiries that will allow us to blend human and animal research into an enlightened and unified understanding of how social brains and social mind make us the kinds of creatures that we are.--Jaak Panksepp, PhD, Department of Veterinary and Comparative Anatomy, Pharmacology, and Physiology, Washington State University
Harmon-Jones and Winkielman include essential psychological topics such as motivation, person perception, emotion, attitudes, prejudice and stereotyping, and interpersonal relationships....An accessible, readable, and comprehensive overview of an exciting, emerging new field.
--Keeping In Touch, 11/17/2007ƒƒ
Conveys neuroscientific analyses of social behavior through clear and focused prose, at an appropriate level of complexity for its readership....This volume easily accomplishes one of its primary aims: to introduce a wide audience to the basic concepts and methods of social neuroscience....A thoughtful collection of wide-ranging and fascinating articles.
--PsycCRITIQUES, 11/17/2007ƒƒ
Through a showcase of the latest research programs, and leading investigations, this volume presents its audience with an accessible, readable, and comprehensive overview of an exciting, emerging new field.
--EABP Newsletter, 9/26/2010