Looking at Other People: Mechanisms for Social Perception Revealed in Subjects with Focal Amygdala Damage

  1. Greg Bock Organizer and
  2. Jamie Goode
  1. Ralph Adolphs1,2

Published Online: 7 OCT 2008

DOI: 10.1002/9780470030585.ch11

Empathy and Fairness: Novartis Foundation Symposium 278

Empathy and Fairness: Novartis Foundation Symposium 278

How to Cite

Adolphs, R. (2006) Looking at Other People: Mechanisms for Social Perception Revealed in Subjects with Focal Amygdala Damage, in Empathy and Fairness: Novartis Foundation Symposium 278 (eds G. Bock and J. Goode), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9780470030585.ch11

Author Information

  1. 1

    Room 331b, HSS 228-77, Caltech, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA

  2. 2

    Division of Humanities and Social Sciences and Division of Biology, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 7 OCT 2008
  2. Published Print: 31 OCT 2006

Book Series:

  1. Novartis Foundation Symposia

Book Series Editors:

  1. Novartis Foundation

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470026267

Online ISBN: 9780470030585

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Keywords:

  • focal brain damage and amygdala;
  • amygdala and somatosensory cortices;
  • simulation role in emotion recognition;
  • fear recognition and amygdala;
  • facial emotion and eye gaze direction

Summary

How does the presence of socially relevant information in the environment influence our perception and judgment of other people? We have investigated how we direct our gaze to other people's faces, how we use specific features from faces to make social judgments about the presumed internal states of others, and how these mechanisms are disrupted following pathology. Studies of patients with damage to the amygdala have demonstrated a specific impairment in the ability to direct gaze towards, and to use information from, the eyes in others' faces. This basic impairment may explain the deficient recognition of basic emotions and deficient social judgment seen in such patients. Ongoing studies in our laboratory examine face-to-face social interactions with real people in an attempt to link the above impairments in the laboratory to the dysfunctional social cognition seen in everyday life.