Social Brain Concept as a Basis for Social Cognition and Its Deficits in Mental Disorders. Part I. 'Social Brain': Product of Modern Neuroscience



This paper aims to explore and evaluate the social brain concept that is widely discussed in foreign psychology. This concept refers to a certain system (group of systems) in the brain which is responsible for perceiving social objects, mediating and carrying out social interactions. The paper provides arguments of the concept's supporters as well as opponents: the former rely on the data on brain scanning and research into pathological conditions (for instance, one of the brain mechanisms responsible for the perception of other people's feelings and actions is the system of mirror neurons), while the latter emphasise the social genesis of cognitive processes and brain plasticity.

General Information

Keywords: social brain, social perception, perception of social objects, tonsil, prefrontal cortex, temporal lobes, mirror neurons, theory of mind (ToM), schizophrenia, brain mechanisms of social behaviour

Journal rubric: Discussions and Discourses

Article type: scientific article

For citation: Rychkova O.V., Kholmogorova A.B. Social Brain Concept as a Basis for Social Cognition and Its Deficits in Mental Disorders. Part I. 'Social Brain': Product of Modern Neuroscience. Kul'turno-istoricheskaya psikhologiya = Cultural-Historical Psychology, 2012. Vol. 8, no. 3, pp. 86–94. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Olga V. Rychkova, Doctor of Psychology, Professor of the Department of clinical psychology and psychotherapy, Deputy Dean for Educational and Methodological Work, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Alla B. Kholmogorova, Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Dean of the Faculty of Counseling and Clinical Psychology, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Leading Researcher, Moscow Research Institute of Psychiatry (A Branch of the National Medical Research Centre for Psychiatry and Narcology), Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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