Social Neuroscience: Key Readings, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Social Neuroscience

Key Readings, 1st Edition

Edited by John T. Cacioppo, Gary G. Berntson

Psychology Press

334 pages | 71 Color Illus. | 93 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2004-12-27
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Neuroscientists and cognitive scientists have collaborated for more than a decade with the common goal of understanding how the mind works. These collaborations have helped unravel puzzles of the mind, including aspects of perception, imagery, attention, and memory. Many aspects of the mind, however, require a more comprehensive approach to reveal the mystery of mind-brain connections. Attraction, altruism, speech recognition, affiliation, attachment, attitudes, identification, kin recognition, cooperation, competition, empathy, sexuality, communication, dominance, persuasion, obedience, morality, contagion, nurturance, violence, and person memory are just a few. Through classic and contemporary articles and reviews, Social Neuroscience: Key Readings illustrates the complementary nature of social, cognitive, and biological levels of analysis and how research integrating these levels can foster more comprehensive theories of the mechanisms underlying complex behavior and the mind.


"Social neuroscience is, arguably, the most revolutionary forward-looking development in 21st century science. Nothing compares with its ability to integrate mind, body, and social behavior. Social Neuroscience: Key Readings puts the teeth into that potential as no other contribution has to date. It is must reading for any scientist in this area.

." -- Shelley E. Taylor, University of California at Los Angeles

"There has been rapid growth in using neuroscience methods to understand social cognition and behavior. John Cacioppo and Gary Berntson perform the valuable task of sifting through this vast interdisciplinary literature for papers that illuminate the workings of the social brain. With enlightening and lucid introductions, the editors bring together a superb collection of recent papers relevant to the core issues of social neuroscience. This reader is perfect for any advanced undergraduate course or graduate seminar and is also of great value to academics seeking a concise introduction to this burgeoning literature.

." -- Todd F. Heatherton, Dartmouth College

"This is the place to start if you want to find out what social neuroscience is. The editors have done a superb job in assembling the fundamental and foundational works in the field. This book should be required reading for all graduate students in psychology -- and for all researchers and teachers who want to keep up with cutting-edge developments in the field.

." -- Stephen M. Kosslyn, Harvard University

Table of Contents

About the Editors




Volume Overview: Analyses of the Social Brain through the Lens of Human Brain Imaging

John T. Cacioppo & Gary G. Berntson


The Brain Determines Social Behavior

Reading 1: The Return of Phineas Gage: Clues about the Brain from the Skull of a Famous Patient

Hanna Damasio, Thomas Grabowski, Randall Frank, Albert M. Galaburda & Antonio R. Damasio

Reading 2: Impairment of Social and Moral Behavior Related to Early Damage in Human Prefrontal Cortex

Steven W. Anderson, Antoine Bechara, Hanna Damasio, Daniel Tranel & Antonio R. Damasio


Dissociable Systems for Attention, Emotion, and Social Knowledge

Reading 3: Dissociable Prefrontal Brain Systems for Attention and Emotion

Hiroshi Yamasaki, Kevin S. LaBar & Gregory McCarthy

Reading 4: Distinct Neural Systems Subserve Person and Object Knowledge

Jason P. Mitchell, Todd F. Heatherton & C. Neil Macrae

Reading 5: Functional Networks in Emotional Moral and Nonmoral Social Judgments

Jorge Moll, Ricardo de Oliveira-Souza, Ivanei E. Bramati & Jordan Grafman


Dissociable Systems for Face and Object Processing

Reading 6: Stages of Processing in Face Perception: An MEG Study

Jia Liu, Alison Harris & Nancy Kanwisher

Reading 7: Distributed and Overlapping Representations of Faces and Objects in Ventral Temporal Cortex

James V. Haxby, M. Ida Gobbini, Maura L Furey, Alumit Ishai, Jennifer L. Schouten & Pietro Pietrini


Dissociable Systems for the Perception of Biological Movement

Reading 8: Brain Areas Active during Visual Perception of Biological Motion

Emily D. Grossman & Randolph Blake

Reading 9: Electrophysiology and Brain Imaging of Biological Motion

Aina Puce & David Perrett


Biological Movement: From Perception to Imitation and Emotion

Reading 10: Action Observation Activates Premotor and Parietal Areas in a Somatotopic Manner: An fMRI Study

G. Buccino, F. Binkofski, G.R. Fink, L. Fadiga, L. Fogassi, V. Gallese, R.J. Seitz, K. Zilles, G. Rizzolatti & H.J. Freund

Reading 11: Neural Mechanisms of Empathy in Humans: A Relay from Neural Systems for Imitation to Limbic Areas

Laurie Carr, Marco Iacoboni, Marie-Charlotte Dubeau, John C. Mazziotta & Gian Luigi Lenzi


Animacy, Causality, and Theory of Mind

Reading 12: Movement and Mind: A Functional Imaging Study of Perception and Interpretation of Complex Intentional Movement Patterns

Fulvia Castelli, Francesca Happé, Uta Frith & Chris Frith

Reading 13: People Thinking about Thinking People: The Role of the Temporo-Parietal Junction in "Theory of Mind"

R. Saxe & Nancy Kanwisher


Social Perception and Cognition: Multiple Routes

Reading 14: Neural Correlates of the Automatic Processing of Threat Facial Signals

Adam K. Anderson, Kalina Christoff, David Panitz, Eve De Rosa & John D.E. Gabrieli

Reading 15: Automatic and Intentional Brain Responses during Evaluation of Trustworthiness of Faces

J.S. Winston, B.A. Strange, J.O. O'Doherty & R.J. Dolan


Decision Making

Reading 16: The Neural Basis of Economic Decision-Making in the Ultimatum Game

Alan G. Sanfey, James K. Rilling, Jessica A. Aronson, Leigh E. Nystrom & Jonathan D. Cohen

Reading 17: Exploring the Neurological Substrate of Emotional and Social Intelligence

Reuven Bar-On, Daniel Tranel, Natalie L. Denburg & Antoine Bechara


Biological Does Not Mean Predetermined: Reciprocal Influences of Social and Biological Processes

Reading 18: Social Dominance in Monkeys: Dopamine D2 Receptors and Cocaine Self-Administration

Drake Morgan, Kathleen A. Grant, H. Donald Gage, Robert H. Mach, Jay R. Kaplan, Osric Prioleau, Susan H. Nader, Nancy Buchheimer, Richard L. Ehrenkaufer & Michael A. Nader

Reading 19: Rethinking Feelings: An fMRI Study of the Cognitive Regulation of Emotion

Kevin N. Ochsner, Silvia A. Bunge, James J. Gross & John D.E. Gabrieli

Appendix: How to Read a Journal Article in Social Psychology

Christian H. Jordan and Mark P. Zanna

Author Index

Subject Index

About the Series

Key Readings in Social Psychology

Given the need to be selective and to provide a coherent perspective on each theme within a single book, the editors have generally tackled a difficult brief extremely well. The breadth and depth make a volume suitable for use in many final-year and masters-degree courses in social psychology. It also provides an ideal introduction to top-level original research articles that should motivate students to pursue the current literature in a more targeted way. […] This is an excellent series that will provide an invaluable compendium of the themes that have dominated the 20th Century.” - Diane Houston, University of Kent, in the Times Higher Education Supplement

The aim of the series is to make available to senior undergraduate and graduate students key articles in each area of social psychology in an attractive, user-friendly format.

Many professors want to encourage their students to engage directly with research in their fields, yet this can often be daunting for students coming to detailed study of a topic for the first time.

Moreover, declining library budgets mean that articles are not always readily available, and course packs can be expensive and time-consuming to produce.

Key Readings in Social Psychology aims to address this need by providing comprehensive volumes, each one of which is edited by a senior and active researcher in the field.

Articles are carefully chosen to illustrate the way the field has developed historically as well as current issues and research directions.

Each volume has a similar structure that includes:

  • An overview chapter, as well as introduction to sections and articles;
  • Questions for class discussion;
  • Annotated bibliographies;
  • Full author and subject indices;
  • The article How to Read a Journal Article in Social Psychology, especially prepared for this series by Christian H. Jordan and Mark P. Zanna

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Social Psychology