Social connections predict brain structure in a multidimensional free-ranging primate society. Journal Article uri icon



  • Reproduction and survival in most primate species reflects management of both competitive and cooperative relationships. Here, we investigated the links between neuroanatomy and sociality in free-ranging rhesus macaques. In adults, the number of social partners predicted the volume of the mid-superior temporal sulcus and ventral-dysgranular insula, implicated in social decision-making and empathy, respectively. We found no link between brain structure and other key social variables such as social status or indirect connectedness in adults, nor between maternal social networks or status and dependent infant brain structure. Our findings demonstrate that the size of specific brain structures varies with the number of direct affiliative social connections and suggest that this relationship may arise during development. These results reinforce proposed links between social network size, biological success, and the expansion of specific brain circuits.

publication date

  • April 15, 2022

has restriction

  • green

Date in CU Experts

  • September 4, 2022 8:35 AM

Full Author List

  • Testard C; Brent LJN; Andersson J; Chiou KL; Negron-Del Valle JE; DeCasien AR; Acevedo-Ithier A; Stock MK; Antón SC; Gonzalez O

author count

  • 25

Other Profiles

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2375-2548

Additional Document Info

start page

  • eabl5794


  • 8


  • 15