Biological Explanation For Development Of Social Cognition

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  • Created on: 21-06-12 16:26
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Biological Explanation For Development Of Social Cognition ­ Andrew F
AO1's AO2's
1 As part of the social cognition of `self', 1 A great deal of research has been
Baron Cohen proposed a biological undertaken to locate the TOMM and various
processing unit in the brain called the regions have been suggested, such as the
Theory Of Mind Module (TOMM). This amygdala and the frontal cortex.
group of neurones matures around age 4
and gives the individual the ability to take
perspective.
2 However, the discovery of mirror neurones
has changed the understanding of brain
function in controlling social cognition.
2 A mirror neuron is a nerve cell which reacts 3 Rizzolatti discovered mirror neurones when
when an individual performs an action or conducting other brain experiments on
when the individual observes the action monkeys. He discovered that the neurones
being performed. that fired during movement also fired when
the monkey observed the same movement.
4 However, monkeys cannot be compared to
humans as humans have better cognitive
abilities than monkeys.
5 Also, the experiment poses ethical issues
regarding animal rights. Some would argue
that it is unethical to use monkeys for
research.
6 However, Rizzolatti and others have debated
that the benefits of potential therapies for
humans outweighs the cost to the monkeys.
7 Mirror neurones have been located in
various brain regions, including the
prefrontal cortex. Iacaboni suggested that
these neurones are responsible for
intentional thinking.
8 Iacaboni supported his theory with an
experiment in which he showed that
participants mirror neurons fired when
watching video clips of people about to
perform an action. This suggests that mirror
neurons enable us to understand others
intentions.
3 Mirror neurons enable imitation
behaviours. Imitation is the first stage of
social cognition and is associated with
knowing that self is different to others.
4 Imitation forms the basis of Bandura's
social learning theory. Bandura suggests
that social learning has three phases,
observation, instigation and regulation.
During observation, mirror neurones would
be active as the individual observes the
action.
5 Mirror neurons have also been found in
Brocca's area in the brain which is

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Biological Explanation For Development Of Social Cognition ­ Andrew F
involved in speech. It is likely that these
enable speech acquisition which is vital for
development of social cognition as it
enables interaction.
6 There is also evidence of mirror neuron 9 Therefore, these mirror neurones give a
activity in the limbic centre of the brain biological explanation for perspective taking
when an individual views emotional as described by Selman.…read more

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Annie Draper

this is very good!

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