The brain saw the map in the social hierarchy

Neuroscientists have found that the ventromedial prefrontal and entorhinal cortex encode the distances between the points in space of a social hierarchy. Persons with a known status was the reference nodes: the information about their position restored hippocampus, and relatively it was determined by the status of others. the Authors of an article published in the journal Neuron, suggest that different cognitive maps are contained in the same structures of the brain.

Information about the ratio of objects in the outside world we get fragmented, and then collect it into a common model. Based on this model, or cognitive map, we can make more General conclusions and to coordinatize about previously unknown proportions. Work space maps: first we find out how to get from the stop to the point A then to point B and can then without prompting to understand how to directly get from A to B. The same happens when we build a genealogical tree: “If Irina — the daughter of Valera, and he was my father’s brother, so, Irina — doudna my sister.”

It is consideredthat the spatial correlation is reflected in the hippocampus and entorhinal cortex in them, for example, found the place cells and grid neurons that are activated when an animal or person is at a certain point in space. So, in these structures of the brain contains a map of space on which the individual computes its own position, direction and distance. Scientists assumethat such cognitive maps can exist not only physical space, but also, for example, relationships between people. However, to understand how these cards work, and find them in the brain has not yet happened.

To investigate how the brain reflect the knowledge about the social hierarchy, scientists from the UK and USA under the leadership Burmana Erie (Erie Boorman) University of California, trained volunteers (27 people) to determine the social status of the strangers of the two groups. Then the researchers created a two-dimensional table of statuses (for one axis in popularity, on the other hand the competence of the person), but the volunteers were told only about the relationships between neighboring pairs in the table people. For example, what conditional conditional Pasha Masha is more popular, but less competent than conventional Flooring.

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