Article

Social Neuroscience

Greg Norman, Gary Berntson and John Cacioppo

in Psychology

ISBN: 9780199828340
Published online November 2011 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199828340-0056
Social Neuroscience

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  • Psychology
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The field of social neuroscience seeks to understand the relationship between social behavior and the physiological and neurobiological substrates that underlies its existence. Importantly, the objective of such an approach represents more than the simple correlation of variables operating across individual levels of analysis. Indeed, social neuroscience is concerned with the understanding of the dynamic signaling mechanisms, be they social or neurobiological, that allow for the reciprocal interaction between levels of analysis. The emergent structures created by the collective behavior of social species, and threats to their integrity, are capable of influencing a broad range of neurobiological and physiological processes. Indeed, various psychological, behavioral, and biological processes are locked into reciprocal causal loops such that activity at any one level (e.g., infection) is able to reverberate across all levels (e.g., behavioral level: decreased social interaction; molecular level: elevated cytokine gene expression) that are themselves capable of feeding back into the system where the initial event occurred (e.g., increased energy stores by avoiding social threats and heightened activity of immune cells via cytokine secretion). Thus, a comprehensive scientific understanding of any species embedded within such a dynamic social–biological circuit necessitates a multilevel integrative perspective. The initial section of this bibliography introduces General Overviews, handbooks, and reference works detailing the broad structure of social neuroscience. The remaining sections provide examples from some of the component disciplines that constitute social neuroscience. We conclude the bibliography with coverage of some of the contemporary debates in the field.

Article.  4469 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Psychology ; Developmental Psychology ; Health Psychology ; History and Systems in Psychology ; Educational Psychology ; Social Psychology

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