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Moving Beyond Self-InterestPerspectives from Evolutionary Biology, Neuroscience, and the Social Sciences$
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Stephanie L. Brown, R. Michael Brown, and Louis A. Penner

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780195388107

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195388107.001.0001

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Neural Circuits Regulating Maternal Behavior

Neural Circuits Regulating Maternal Behavior

Implications for Understanding the Neural Basis of Social Cooperation and Competition

6 Neural Circuits Regulating Maternal Behavior
Moving Beyond Self-Interest

Michael Numan

Oxford University Press

What are the neural mechanisms that determine whether an individual cooperates or competes with another member of his or her species? In other words, what neural mechanisms determine whether perceived social stimuli are assigned a positive or a negative valence by the perceiver, with positive social stimuli activating neural pathways that cause contact seeking behaviors, acceptance, caregiving, and other prosocial behaviors, while negative social stimuli activate pathways that cause avoidance, rejection, competition or even attack (antisocial behaviors)? These questions form the overarching issue of this essay, which focuses on the neurobiological mechanisms that shift an individual away from antisocial behaviors and toward prosocial behaviors.

Keywords:   Maternal Care, MPOA, Hypothalamus, Amygdala, Cooperation, Competition

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