Editors' ChoiceNeuroscience

Where to keep information about others?

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Science  07 Apr 2017:
Vol. 356, Issue 6333, pp. 38-39
DOI: 10.1126/science.356.6333.38-c

Because humans are social animals, it is important for us to store information about others, such as how they look and sound, who they are, and our general impressions. Little is known about how and where in the brain this kind of information is stored. Wang et al. invited subjects to learn biographical facts about a number of imaginary individuals and later scanned their brains during a memory test. They found that portions of a brain region called the anterior temporal lobe represented knowledge about other people in an abstract form. Different content areas of this knowledge—social status, personality traits, and identity—were represented in discrete nodes within a distributed person-identification circuit.

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 10.1073/pnas.1621234114 (2017).

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