Meeting of minds: the medial frontal cortex and social cognition

Nat Rev Neurosci. 2006 Apr;7(4):268-77. doi: 10.1038/nrn1884.


Social interaction is a cornerstone of human life, yet the neural mechanisms underlying social cognition are poorly understood. Recently, research that integrates approaches from neuroscience and social psychology has begun to shed light on these processes, and converging evidence from neuroimaging studies suggests a unique role for the medial frontal cortex. We review the emerging literature that relates social cognition to the medial frontal cortex and, on the basis of anatomical and functional characteristics of this brain region, propose a theoretical model of medial frontal cortical function relevant to different aspects of social cognitive processing.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Diagnostic Imaging / methods
  • Frontal Lobe / anatomy & histology
  • Frontal Lobe / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Mental Processes / physiology*
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Psychological Theory