Monkeys Have a Specialized Brain Network for Sizing Up Others’ Actions [Scientific American | Neuroscience]

Screenshot from Movie S1 - supplementaty materials, SicenceMag.org
May 26, 2017

Bret Stetka | Scientific American - Neuroscience
May 18, 2017

"For many hours a day they pluck dirt, debris and bugs from each other’s fur. Between grooming sessions they travel in troops to search for food. When ignored by mom, they throw tantrums; when not ignored by zoo-goers, they throw feces.

Through these behaviors, monkeys demonstrate they understand the meaning of social interactions with other monkeys. They recognize when their peers are grooming one another and infer social rank from seeing such actions within their group.

But it has long been unclear how the brains of our close evolutionary relatives actually process what they observe of these social situations. New findings published Thursday in Science offer a clue. A team of researchers from The Rockefeller University have identified a network in the monkey brain dedicated exclusively to analyzing social interactions. And they believe this network could be akin to human brains’ social circuitry. "

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