Neural Basis of Empathy and Its Dysfunction in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)
Final rept. 1 Aug 2011-31 Jul 2014
DUKE UNIV DURHAM NC
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The project aimed to identify the neural basis of social behaviors in rhesus macaques, and characterize the role of a set of brain areas in the prefrontal cortex as well as the role of oxytocin OT in social behaviors. We have developed an animal model of social interactions and studied the role of specific brain areas in social behavior. We found that the anterior cingulate gyrus ACCg is important for signaling reward experience of others and is involved in social learning when monkeys observe outcomes occurring to others, and that the orbitofrontal cortex OFC is involved only in self directed rewards. In unconstrained social interactions, we found that OT inhalation affects a vast array of behaviors, both in the monkey having inhaled OT and the other monkeys he is interacting with.
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Medicine and Medical Research