3 years ago

Social and asocial prefrontal cortex neurons: a new look at social facilitation and the social brain.

Huguet P, Takerkart S, Demolliens M, Isbaine F, Boussaoud D
A fundamental aspect of behavior in many animal species is social facilitation, the positive effect of the mere presence of conspecifics on performance. To date, the neuronal counterpart of this ubiquitous phenomenon is unknown. We recorded the activity of single neurons from two prefrontal cortex regions, the dorsolateral part (PFdl) and the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) in monkeys as they performed a visuomotor task, either in the presence of a conspecific (Presence condition) or alone. Monkeys performed better in the presence condition than alone (social facilitation), and analyses of outcome-related activity of 342 prefrontal neurons revealed that most of them (86%) were sensitive to the performance context. Two populations of neurons were discovered: "social neurons", preferentially active under social presence, and "asocial neurons", preferentially active under social isolation. The activity of these neurons correlated positively with performance only in their preferred context (social neurons under social presence; asocial neurons under social isolation), thereby providing a potential neuronal mechanism of social facilitation. More generally, the fact that identical tasks recruited either social or asocial neurons depending on the presence or absence of a conspecific also brings a new look at the social brain hypothesis.

Publisher URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28402489

DOI: PubMed:28402489

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.