Social network size affects neural circuits in macaques.

Bibliographic Collection: 
MOCA Reference, APE
Publication Type: Journal Article
Authors: Sallet, J; Mars, R B; Noonan, M P; Andersson, J L; O'Reilly, J X; Jbabdi, S; Croxson, P L; Jenkinson, M; Miller, K L; Rushworth, M F S
Year of Publication: 2011
Journal: Science
Volume: 334
Issue: 6056
Pagination: 697-700
Date Published: 11/2011
Publication Language: eng
ISSN: 1095-9203
Keywords: Animals, Female, Gyrus Cinguli, Hierarchy, Social, Macaca, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Nerve Net, Neural Pathways, Organ Size, Prefrontal Cortex, Social Behavior, Temporal Lobe

It has been suggested that variation in brain structure correlates with the sizes of individuals' social networks. Whether variation in social network size causes variation in brain structure, however, is unknown. To address this question, we neuroimaged 23 monkeys that had been living in social groups set to different sizes. Subject comparison revealed that living in larger groups caused increases in gray matter in mid-superior temporal sulcus and rostral prefrontal cortex and increased coupling of activity in frontal and temporal cortex. Social network size, therefore, contributes to changes both in brain structure and function. The changes have potential implications for an animal's success in a social context; gray matter differences in similar areas were also correlated with each animal's dominance within its social network.

DOI: 10.1126/science.1210027
Alternate Journal: Science
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