Dominance and submission: The ventrolateral prefrontal cortex and responses to status cues

Abigail A. Marsh, Karina S. Blair, Matthew M. Jones, Niveen Soliman, R. J.R. Blair

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

77 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Status hierarchies constitute a fundamental organizing principle of human society. However, little is known about the neural systems that process nonverbal cues that indicate status. Preliminary neuropsychological work has suggested a role for the ventrolateral and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VLPFC/VMPFC) and the superior temporal cortex (STC). We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to delineate the nature of these roles. Analyses revealed signal changes in the right VLPFC in connection with two primary functions attributed to status cues. Status cues moderate behavior and the right VLPFC showed increased signal for high-status relative to neutral and low-status cues. The VLPFC also showed increased signal for high-status cues displayed by individuals of the opposite gender to the perceiver; this may be relevant to the role status cues play in moderating mate choice behavior. Connectivity results indicated significant positive connectivity between the VLPFC and both the VMPFC and the STC. We suggest that the VLPFC retrieves information from these regions when processing hierarchy cues to facilitate socially adaptive behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)713-724
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Volume21
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2009

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Prefrontal Cortex
Cues
Temporal Lobe
Choice Behavior
gender
Psychological Adaptation
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Cortex
Connectivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience

Cite this

Dominance and submission : The ventrolateral prefrontal cortex and responses to status cues. / Marsh, Abigail A.; Blair, Karina S.; Jones, Matthew M.; Soliman, Niveen; Blair, R. J.R.

In: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, Vol. 21, No. 4, 01.04.2009, p. 713-724.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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