Research conducted in the laboratory of Professor Matthew Rushworth has revealed neural markers that predict social status in nonhuman primates. The research, which was led by Dr. Maryann Noonan, shows that brain structures previously implicated in social and emotional processing are larger in dominant than subordinate monkeys. Another set of brain regions, implicated in learning, are bigger the more subordinate the animals social status. The research also showed that connectivity among these regions, measured with functional magnetic resonance imaging, was also related to social status. The research was published in the journal PLOS Biology. More information about the work can be found on the BBC and Newsweek websites.
Oxford research reveals that brain structure predicts social status in monkeys
4 September 2014