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The Social Brain: A Developmental Perspective

The Social Brain: A Developmental Perspective

Current price: $45.00
Publication Date: August 18th, 2020
The MIT Press
Special Order - Subject to Availability


A range of empirical and theoretical perspectives on the relationship between biology and social cognition from infancy through childhood.

Recent research on the developmental origins of the social mind supports the view that social cognition is present early in infancy and childhood in surprisingly sophisticated forms. Developmental psychologists have found ingenious ways to test the social abilities of infants and young children, and neuroscientists have begun to study the neurobiological mechanisms that implement and guide early social cognition. Their work suggests that, far from being unfinished adults, babies are exquisitely designed by evolution to capture relevant social information, learn, and explore their social environments. This volume offers a range of empirical and theoretical perspectives on the relationship between biology and social cognition from infancy through childhood.

The contributors consider scientific advances in early social perception and cognition, including findings on the development of face processing and social perceptual biases; explore recent research on early infant competencies for language and theory of mind, including a developmental account of how young children become moral agents and the role of electrophysiology in identifying psychological processes that underpin social cognition; discuss the origins and development of prosocial behavior, reviewing evidence for a set of innate predispositions to be social, cooperative, and altruistic; examine how young children make social categories; and analyze atypical social cognition, including autism spectrum disorder and psychopathy.


Lior Abramson, Renée Baillargeon, Pascal Belin, Frances Buttelmann, Sofia Cardenas, Michael J. Crowley, Fabrice Damon, Jean Decety, Michelle de Haan, Ghislaine Dehaene-Lambertz, Melody Buyukozer Dawkins, Xiao Pan Ding, Kristen A. Dunfield, Rachel D. Fine, Ana Fló, Jennifer R. Frey, Susan A. Gelman, Diane Goldenberg, Marie-Hélène Grosbras, Tobias Grossmann, Caitlin M. Hudac, Dora Kampis, Tara A. Karasewich, Ariel Knafo-Noam, Tehila Kogut, Ágnes Melinda Kovács, Valerie A. Kuhlmeier, Kang Lee, Narcis Marshall, Eamon McCrory, David Méary, Christos Panagiotopoulos, Olivier Pascalis, Markus Paulus, Kevin A. Pelphrey, Marcela Peña, Valerie F. Reyna, Marjorie Rhodes, Ruth Roberts, Hagit Sabato, Darby Saxbe, Virginia Slaughter, Jessica A. Sommerville, Maayan Stavans, Nikolaus Steinbeis, Fransisca Ting, Florina Uzefovsky, Essi Viding

About the Author

Jean Decety is Irving B. Harris Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago, where he is also Director of the Child Neurosuite. He is the coeditor of The Social Neuroscience of Empathy and The Moral Brain and the editor of Empathy: From Bench to Bedside, all published by the MIT Press.