El tamaño de la amígdala se relaciona con la vida social

En principio la investigación necesita más cabezas que medios

Severo Ochoa

Un grupo de investigadores del Hospital General de Massachusetts, en Estados Unidos, ha descubierto que la amígdala, estructura cerebral que se encuentra junto al lóbulo temporal, es importante para desarrollar una vida social rica y variada en humanos. El trabajo, que ha estado coordinado por Lisa Feldman Barrett, se publica en el último número de Nature Neuroscience y confirma hallazgos previos en primates.

Feldman Barret apunta que “ya sabíamos que los primates que viven en grupos sociales amplios tienen una mayor amígdala, incluso cuando se controla su masa cerebral y corporal”. Tras efectuar un análisis exploratorio de todas las estructuras subcorticales, no se hallaron evidencias de una relación similar en otras regiones cerebrales.

Bradford C. Dickerson, otro de los autores, señala que el vínculo entre el tamaño de la amígdala y las relaciones sociales se ha observado tanto e individuos ancianos como en jóvenes, y tanto en hombres como en mujeres. Estos resultados refuerzan la “hipótesis del cerebro social”, que sugiere que la amígdala humana podría haber evolucionado para enfrentarse a una vida social que cada vez es más compleja. Los autores también estudian las alteraciones en esta región, que pueden impedir el comportamiento social y llevar a enfermedades psiquiátricas. 


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