Humans are exceedingly social animals, but the neural underpinnings of social cognition and behavior are not well understood. Studies in humans and other primates have pointed to several structures that play a key role in guiding social behaviors: the amygdala, ventromedial frontal cortices, and right somatosensory-related cortex, among others. These structures appear to mediate between perceptual representations of socially relevant stimuli, such as the sight of conspecifics, and retrieval of knowledge (or elicitation of behaviors) that such stimuli can trigger. Current debates concern the extent to which social cognition draws upon processing specialized for social information, and the relative contributions made to social cognition by innate and acquired knowledge.
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