When the eyes meet, the neurons start to burn

Summary: A certain set of socially regulated neurons ignite in several areas through the amygdala with the prefrontal cortex at different times during interaction. Brain areas are hired to compute selective aspects of an interactive social perspective, highlighting the importance of a more thought-provoking role in the interaction of social perspectives.

A source: Yale

Their eyes were drawn to a crowded dance floor, and special neurons began to work in several areas of the two brains, which became socially significant.

Although not as romantic as the first dance floor, Yale’s new study was able to create a chart of this surprisingly widespread neural reaction in several areas of the brain when two people’s eyes met and social interactions interacted, the researchers said in a May 10 report. neuron.

“There are very strong signals in the brain that sign an interactive social marl,” said Yale, an associate professor of psychology and neurology, a member of the Wu-Tsai Institute and the Kawli Institute of Neurology. of the study.

The phenomenon of the meaning of two people’s points of view has been documented in art and literature for thousands of years, but it has been difficult for scientists to unravel how the brain performed such a subtle feat.

They have extensively studied the neurobiology of social perception, and are usually portrayed in individuals with specific static images, such as angry or happy faces or straight or rejected views.

However, the interaction of two individual minds, they receive dynamic and interactive information from each other’s eyes.

Chang’s laboratory overcame this obstacle by simultaneously monitoring the eye condition of two animals and monitoring the activity of the monkeys’ brains. This allowed them to record large arrays of neurons in which animals looked at each other on their own.

“They were spontaneously involved in social interactions, and we are looking at neural shootings,” Chang said. “Importantly, we haven’t given any assignments, so they have to decide for themselves how and when to interact.”

They found that certain sets of socially regulated neurons fired at different points in the brain at different times during eye contact. For example, when a group of neurons begin to communicate with one another, but not when they follow the other’s point of view.

Another set of neurons was active when monkeys decided to complete their eye contact with each other. Interestingly, when the gauze was attached to another person, some neurons marked the distance relative to the other person’s eye, but when the gauze was attached, another group of neurons showed how close the other person was.

The areas of the brain where neuronal activation took place provided clues as to how the brain would evaluate the significance of the gauze. Surprisingly, part of the network activated during social interactions included the prefrontal cortex, the amygdala, which is the center of higher learning and decision-making, as well as emotion and evaluation.

The phenomenon of the meaning of two people’s points of view has been documented in art and literature for thousands of years, but it has been difficult for scientists to unravel how the brain performed such a subtle feat. Image in public domain

“In addition to the amygdala, several areas in the prefrontal cortex are involved to account for selective aspects of the interactive social perspective, highlighting the importance of more thinking in the interaction of social perspectives,” Chang said.

It is known that these areas of the prefrontal-amygdala networks, which are activated in the interaction of social attitudes, are impaired even in atypical social conditions such as autism. This proves their importance in achieving a sense of social connection, he said.

He added that the interaction of social views plays an important role in the formation of social ties, and that the prefrontal-amygdala networks can do this.

“The fact that interactive social perspective neurons are widely found in the brain also underscores the ethological significance of social perspective interactions,” Chang said.

Yeldik Siki Fan and Olga Dal Monte are the main authors of the study.

News about the study of visual neurology

Author: Bill Hathaway
A source: Yale
The connection: Bill Hathaway – Yale
Photo: Image in public domain

Original study: Open access.
“Widespread deployment of interactive social observation neurons in primitive prefrontal-amygdala networks” by Olga Dal Monte et al. neuron


See also

This shows certain areas of the brain

Widespread distribution of interactive social neurons in primate prefrontal-amygdala networks


  • Prefrontal and amygdala neurons show temporary heterogeneity for social events
  • These neurons are involved in controlling their own perception of themselves or others
  • These neurons encode agent-specific interactions
  • Interaction of social views is widely considered in the prefrontal-amygdala

A result

The interaction of public opinion forms a strong interpersonal connection. However, little is known about the neural basis for the interaction of social attitudes in real life compared to social perceptions.

Here, we studied a large number of neurons covering four areas of the prefrontal-amygdala networks of primates and demonstrated the solid single-celled basis of interactive social gauze in orbitofrontal, dorsomedial prefrontal, and anterior cingulate cortices outside the amygdala.

In these regions, many neurons showed a high temporal heterogeneity for social discrimination, with a tendency to be selective for specific consideration compared to the object.

It should be noted that a large proportion of neurons in each region of the brain provided the substrates for the control of social perception and were able to observe themselves or others in a parametric way. In addition, several neurons demonstrated selective coding of agent-specific eye contact.

These findings suggest the proliferation of interactive social thought neurons in the prefrontal amygdala of primates during social interaction.

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