Evolutionary Basis of the Social Brain

Robin I. M. Dunbar

in The Oxford Handbook of Social Neuroscience

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780195342161
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Evolutionary Basis of the Social Brain

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Primates have unusually large brains for body size compared to all other vertebrates. Given the extraordinary cost of neural material, this raised a pressing question about why primates (in particular) should be willing to incur such high costs. This chapter begins by considering the various hypotheses aimed at addressing this question. It then discusses what social behavior can tell us about cognition and how cognition interfaces between brain and behavior.

Keywords: primates; brain size; social brain hypothesis; cognition; social behavior

Article.  7008 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Neuroscience ; Social Psychology

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