Response of neurons in the macaque amygdala to complex social stimuli

Behav Brain Res. 1990 Dec 21;41(3):199-213. doi: 10.1016/0166-4328(90)90108-q.


The presence of neurons in macaque temporal cortex and amygdala which fire selectively in response to social stimuli has been demonstrated by several investigators. The extent to which such neuronal populations may respond to a broad range of social features, including expressive movements and interactions, has not been fully explored due to the difficulty of presenting such complex stimuli in a controlled fashion. We describe a method for presenting moving segments of macaque behavior, visual and auditory, to animal subjects during single unit recording. The method permits a broad range of stimuli to be used both as probes and as controls. In addition, a novel technique for monitoring eye position in alert macaque subjects is described. We present results from the medial amygdala and adjacent cortex, demonstrating that neurons in these regions respond selectively to features of the social environment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amygdala / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Arousal / physiology*
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping
  • Eye Movements / physiology
  • Fixation, Ocular / physiology
  • Macaca
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Social Behavior*
  • Social Environment*
  • Social Perception*