The new edition of Science if devoted to Social Cognition. It
(...) explores the adaptive advantages of group life and the accompanying development of social skills. News articles examine clues from our primate cousins about the evolution of sophisticated social behavior and explorations of human behavior made possible by computer-generated realities. Review articles dissect the human capacity for prospection and the links between sociality and brain evolution and fitness. And related podcast segments highlight research on the social abilities of children and chimps and the value of virtual worlds to studies of social science
Four papers you don't want to miss:
- Dunbar, R. I. M. and Susanne Shultz. 2007. “Evolution in the Social Brain.” Science 317(5843):1344-1347.
- Herrmann, Esther, Josep Call, Maria Victoria Hernandez-Lloreda, Brian Hare, and Michael Tomasello. 2007. “Humans Have Evolved Specialized Skills of Social Cognition: The Cultural Intelligence Hypothesis.” Science 317(5843):1360-1366.
- Silk, Joan B. 2007. “Social Components of Fitness in Primate Groups.” Science 317(5843):1347-1351.
- Wood, Justin N., David D. Glynn, Brenda C. Phillips, and Marc D. Hauser. 2007. “The Perception of Rational, Goal-Directed Action in Nonhuman Primates.” Science 317(5843):1402-1405.
Moreover, in the same edition, psychologists Dan Gilbert and Tim Wilson presents a theory of prospection, the anticipation of future events (a subject important for decision-making research:
All animals can predict the hedonic consequences of events they've experienced before. But humans can predict the hedonic consequences of events they've never experienced by simulating those events in their minds. Scientists are beginning to understand how the brain simulates future events, how it uses those simulations to predict an event's hedonic consequences, and why these predictions so often go awry.
- Gilbert, D. T., & Wilson, T. D. (2007). Prospection: Experiencing the Future. Science, 317(5843), 1351-1354.