Speaker: Dr Kami Koldewyn (University of Bangor)
Humans are inherently social, and our understanding of the world is shaped from the very beginning by the social interactions we observe and engage in.
Social interactions are multifaceted and subtle, yet we can almost instantaneously discern if two people are cooperating or competing, flirting or fighting.
We swiftly learn a great deal about people from observing their interactions with others – even a brief interaction gives us important clues about their personality, their social abilities, and their current mood. As a consequence, we excel at extracting information from social scenes, with network of brain regions that are sensitive to social cues such as faces, bodies, and biological motion.
Here, we explore the brain basis of our remarkable ability to extract information from complex social scenes, particularly looking at the role of various structures in the “social brain” across development.
This work has identified the posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS) as a key region for processing dynamic social interactions, but other regions in the “social brain” – particularly extrastriate body area (EBA) – also show sensitivity to specifically interactive information, depending on stimulus content and context.
The response and development of the pSTS region will be explored in depth but will also be discussed in the context of response in other parts of the social brain.
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