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Social distance evaluation in human parietal cortex.

Yamakawa, Y; Kanai, R; Matsumura, M; Naito, E; (2009) Social distance evaluation in human parietal cortex. PLoS One , 4 (2) , Article e4360. 10.1371/journal.pone.0004360. Green open access

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Across cultures, social relationships are often thought of, described, and acted out in terms of physical space (e.g. "close friends" "high lord"). Does this cognitive mapping of social concepts arise from shared brain resources for processing social and physical relationships? Using fMRI, we found that the tasks of evaluating social compatibility and of evaluating physical distances engage a common brain substrate in the parietal cortex. The present study shows the possibility of an analytic brain mechanism to process and represent complex networks of social relationships. Given parietal cortex's known role in constructing egocentric maps of physical space, our present findings may help to explain the linguistic, psychological and behavioural links between social and physical space.

Type: Article
Title: Social distance evaluation in human parietal cortex.
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0004360
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0004360
Language: English
Additional information: © 2009 Yamakawa et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. PMCID: PMC2635936 This study was supported by Kyoto University COE Program “Center of Excellence for Psychological Studies” and Kyoto University Global COE Program “Informatics Center for the Development of Knowledge Society Infrastructure”, MEXT, Japan and by the Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C), 19500290, MEXT, Japan. Y.Y. is supported by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science and the Kyoto University Venture Business Laboratory. R.K. is supported by Human Frontier Science Foundation. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
Keywords: Adult, Brain Mapping, Female, Humans, Judgment, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Parietal Lobe, Physical Stimulation, Social Distance, Task Performance and Analysis
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/104485
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