The social brain in psychiatric and neurological disorders

Trends Cogn Sci. 2012 Nov;16(11):559-72. doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2012.09.006. Epub 2012 Oct 6.


Psychiatric and neurological disorders have historically provided key insights into the structure-function relationships that subserve human social cognition and behavior, informing the concept of the 'social brain'. In this review, we take stock of the current status of this concept, retaining a focus on disorders that impact social behavior. We discuss how the social brain, social cognition, and social behavior are interdependent, and emphasize the important role of development and compensation. We suggest that the social brain, and its dysfunction and recovery, must be understood not in terms of specific structures, but rather in terms of their interaction in large-scale networks.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Agenesis of Corpus Callosum / physiopathology
  • Amygdala / physiopathology
  • Brain / physiopathology*
  • Child
  • Child Development Disorders, Pervasive / etiology
  • Child Development Disorders, Pervasive / physiopathology
  • Cognition Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Nervous System Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Neuroimaging
  • Social Behavior*
  • Social Perception*
  • Williams Syndrome / etiology
  • Williams Syndrome / physiopathology