Social cognitive network neuroscience

Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci. 2022 May 5;17(5):510-529. doi: 10.1093/scan/nsac020.


Over the past three decades, research from the field of social neuroscience has identified a constellation of brain regions that relate to social cognition. Although these studies have provided important insights into the specific neural regions underlying social behavior, they may overlook the broader neural context in which those regions and the interactions between them are embedded. Network neuroscience is an emerging discipline that focuses on modeling and analyzing brain networks-collections of interacting neural elements. Because human cognition requires integrating information across multiple brain regions and systems, we argue that a novel social cognitive network neuroscience approach-which leverages methods from the field of network neuroscience and graph theory-can advance our understanding of how brain systems give rise to social behavior. This review provides an overview of the field of network neuroscience, discusses studies that have leveraged this approach to advance social neuroscience research, highlights the potential contributions of social cognitive network neuroscience to understanding social behavior and provides suggested tools and resources for conducting network neuroscience research.

Keywords: network neuroscience; social cognitive network neuroscience; social network neuroscience; social neuroscience.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Brain
  • Cognition
  • Cognitive Neuroscience*
  • Humans
  • Neurosciences*
  • Social Behavior