"Brain and Social Networks: Fundamental Building Blocks of Human Experience." Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 2017.

Type: 
Article
Author(s): 
Emily B. Falk, Danielle S. Bassett

How do brains shape social networks, and how do social ties shape the brain? Social networks are complex webs by which ideas spread among people. Brains comprise webs by which information is processed and transmitted among neural units. While brain activity and structure offer biological mechanisms for human behaviors, social networks offer external inducers or modulators of those behaviors. Together, these two axes represent fundamental contributors to human experience. Integrating foundational knowledge from social and developmental psychology and sociology on how individuals function within dyads, groups, and societies with recent advances in network neuroscience can offer new insights into both domains. Here, we use the example of how ideas and behaviors spread to illustrate the potential of multilayer network models.