From DNA to Social Cognition
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Decision-making is an integral part of our daily lives. Researchers seek a complete understanding of the decision-making process, including the biological and social basis and the impact of our decisions. From DNA to Social Cognition fills a gap in the literature that brings together the methods, perspectives, and knowledge of the geneticists, neuroscientists, economists, and psychologists that are integral to this field of research. The editors’ unique expertise ensures an integrated and complete compilation of materials that will prove useful to researchers and scientists interested in social cognition and decision-making.


Dr. Richard Ebstein (Editor) is one of the leaders in the field of personality genetics and human behavioral genetics. He is Professor and head of the Scheinfeld Center at the Hebrew University. He has published widely and his work was recently highlighted in a Science magazine issue devoted to behavioral genetics [Holden C (2008) Parsing the genetics of behavior. Science 322(5903):892-895].

Dr. Soo Hong Chew (Editor) is a leading economist and has made important contributions to economic theory. He is Professor at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Professor Chew will provide the expertise on game theory and its application to behavioral economics and neuroeconomics.

Dr. Simone Shamay-Tsoory (Editor) has expertise in the neural correlates of emotions and social cognition, particularly empathy and "theory of mind".


Contributors vii

Introduction 1
Richard P. Ebstein, Mikhail Monakhov, Poh San Lai, and Simone G. Shamay-Tsoory


1.1 Genes Related to Autistic Traits and Empathy 21
Bhismadev Chakrabarti and Simon Baron-Cohen

1.2 The Behavioral Genetics of Human Pair Bonding 37
Hasse Walum and Lars Westberg

1.3 Brain Networks Supporting Empathy 47
Martin Schulte-Rüther and Ellen Greimel

1.4 The Human Mirror Neuron System and Social Cognition 63
Sook-Lei Liew and Lisa Aziz-Zadeh

1.5 Motivational Aspects of Future Thinking in the Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex 81
Arnaud D'Argembeau


2.1 Contributions of the Prefrontal Cortex to Social Cognition and Moral Judgment Processes 93
Chad E. Forbes, Joshua C. Poore, and Jordan Grafman

2.2 Emotion and Moral Cognition 111
Michael Koenigs

2.3 The Neuroanatomical Basis of Moral Cognition and Emotion 123
Roland Zahn, Ricardo de Oliveira-Souza, and Jorge Moll

2.4 Envy and Schadenfreude: The Neural Correlates of Competitive Emotions 139
Jonathan Dvash and Simone G. Shamay-Tsoory

PART 3 Genes and Decision Making 157

3.1 The Somatic Marker Framework and the Neurological Basis of Decision Making 159
Antoine Bechara

3.2 A Model of the Initial Stages of Drug Abuse: From Reinforcement Learning to Social Contagion 185
Gilly Koritzky, Adi Luria, and Eldad Yechiam

3.3 Extrinsic Effects and Models of Dominance Hierarchy Formation 203
Matthew Druen and Lee Alan Dugatkin

3.4 Complex Social Cognition and the Appreciation of Social Norms in Psychiatric Disorders: Insights from Evolutionary Game Theory 215
Martin Brüne and Julia Wischniewski

3.5 From Neuroeconomics to Genetics: The Intertemporal Choices Case as an Example 233
Itzhak Aharon and Sacha Bourgeois-Gironde

Index 245


“But, on the whole, readers will come away with an appreciation for the complexities and potential rewards inherent in this still-growing field.”  (The Quarterly Review of Biology, 1 December 2012)