The ability to assess how motivated other people are is considered crucial for successfully interacting with them. Dr. Matthew Apps
and Prof. Matthew Rushworth
from the Experimental Psychology department, University of Oxford, in collaboration with Dr. Steve Chang at Yale University have published a new review
of work across different species looking at brain connectivity and function. By synthesising a large body of research they highlight that a region of the brain called the anterior cingulate gyrus plays an important role in processing how motivated other people are during social interactions. They also highlight how the specific computations that may underlie this process may be achieved in this brain area. This new review may shed light on the biological basis of some of the difficulties individuals with disorders of social cognition, such as in the autistic spectrum, have when interacting with other people. Furthermore, it may also pave the way for new avenues of research aimed at providing a more precise understanding of both typical and disordered social cognition. The work, entitled “The Anterior Cingulate Gyrus and Social Cognition: Tracking the Motivation of Others” is freely available
in the May 18 issue of the journal Neuron.