London: A tiny structure in the human brain may determine a rich and varied social life among humans.
Scientists at the Northeastern University have found that amygdala, a small almond shaped structure deep within the temporal lobe, can indicate the complexity of social network amongst humans.
"We know that primates who live in larger social groups have a larger amygdala, even when controlling for overall brain size and body size," said Lisa Feldman Barrett.
"We considered a single primate species, humans, and found that the amygdala volume positively correlated with the size and complexity of social networks in adult humans,” she added.
According to Bradford C. Dickerson, "This link between amygdala size and social network size and complexity was observed for both older and younger individuals and for both men and women.”
"This link was specific to the amygdala, because social network size and complexity were not associated with the size of other brain structures,” he added.
Barrett noted that more research is required to understand more about how the amygdala and other brain regions are involved in social behaviour in humans.
"We and other researchers are also trying to understand how abnormalities in these brain regions may impair social behaviour in neurologic and psychiatric disorders."
The study appears in Nature Neuroscience.