Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
The capacity to accurately infer the thoughts and intentions of other people is critical for effective social interaction, and neural activity in dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC) has long been linked with the extent to which people engage in mental state attribution. In this study, we combined functional neuroimaging and experience sampling methodologies to test the predictive value of this neural response for daily social behaviors. We found that individuals who displayed greater activity in dmPFC when viewing social scenes spent more time around other people on a daily basis. These findings suggest a specific role for the neural mechanisms that support the capacity to mentalize in guiding individuals toward situations containing valuable social outcomes.
Powers, Katherine E.; Chavez, Robert S.; and Heatherton, Todd F., "Individual Differences in Response of Dorsomedial Prefrontal Cortex Predict Daily Social Behavior" (2016). Open Dartmouth: Faculty Open Access Scholarship. 3806.