Investigating the "social brain" through Williams syndrome

Masanori Nagamine, Masaru Mimura, Allan L. Reiss, Fumiko Hoeft

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Recent advances in social cognitive neuroscience have led to the concept of the "social brain". The social brain includes neural processes specialized for processing social information necessary for the recognition of self and others, and interpersonal relationships. Because of its unique behavioral phenotypic features which includes 'hypersociability', Williams syndrome has gained popularity among social cognitive neuroscientists. Individuals with Williams syndrome share the same genetic risk factor for cognitive-behavioral dysfunction utilizing brain imaging to elucidate endophenotype provides us with an unprecendented opportunity to study gene, brain and behavior relationships especially those related to social cognition. In this review, we provide an overview of neuroimaging studies on social cognition in Williams syndrome and discuss the neural basis of the social brain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)877-884
Number of pages8
JournalBrain and Nerve
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Aug
Externally publishedYes


  • Brain imaging
  • Developmental disorder
  • Social brain
  • Social cognitive neuroscience
  • Williams syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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