The Social Connectome – Moving Toward Complexity in the Study of Brain Networks and Their Interactions in Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftÜbersichtsartikel (Review)BeigetragenBegutachtung


Over the past 150 years of neuroscientific research, the field has undergone a tremendous evolution. Starting out with lesion-based inference of brain function, functional neuroimaging, introduced in the late 1980s, and increasingly fine-grained and sophisticated methods and analyses now allow us to study the live neural correlates of complex behaviors in individuals and multiple agents simultaneously. Classically, brain-behavior coupling has been studied as an association of a specific area in the brain and a certain behavioral outcome. This has been a crucial first step in understanding brain organization. Social cognitive processes, as well as their neural correlates, have typically been regarded and studied as isolated functions and blobs of neural activation. However, as our understanding of the social brain as an inherently dynamic organ grows, research in the field of social neuroscience is slowly undergoing the necessary evolution from studying individual elements to how these elements interact and their embedding within the overall brain architecture. In this article, we review recent studies that investigate the neural representation of social cognition as interacting, complex, and flexible networks. We discuss studies that identify individual brain networks associated with social affect and cognition, interaction of these networks, and their relevance for disorders of social affect and cognition. This perspective on social cognitive neuroscience can highlight how a more fine-grained understanding of complex network (re-)configurations could improve our understanding of social cognitive deficits in mental disorders such as autism spectrum disorder and schizophrenia, thereby providing new impulses for methods of interventions.


FachzeitschriftFrontiers in psychiatry
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 5 Apr. 2022

Externe IDs

PubMed 35449570
PubMedCentral PMC9016142
Mendeley 7f8f5825-68c6-3f3d-93b9-5cf0d84b9b7a
ORCID /0000-0003-2906-7471/work/142257930


Ziele für nachhaltige Entwicklung


  • connectome, mental disorders, network interaction, network neuroscience, social cognition