Directors: Antonio M. Battro and Kurt W. Fischer
Program officer: María Lourdes Majdalani
The role of neuroimaging in developmental social psychology
The development of social cognition is defined as the behavioral patterns, feelings, attitudes, and concepts that children manifest in relation to other people, and the way in which these different functions change with age. To understand the development of social cognition, modeling based on longitudinal behavioral observation is essential. Neuroimaging techniques will aid in this process by providing the neural basis of the psychological constructs, and the constraints for the model. At present, neuroimaging techniques are mainly applied to adults, although they do provide information for developmental psychologists. Here, the issue of self-recognition and self-evaluation is presented as an example. Technical advances will allow the application of functional and/or anatomical neuroimaging techniques directly to babies and/or children in the near future.