The sequencing process generated by the cerebellum crucially contributes to social interactions

Frank Van Overwalle, Mario Manto, Maria Leggio, José María Delgado-García

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The capacity to understand another person's emotions, intentions, beliefs and personality traits, based on observed or communicated behaviors, is termed social cognition. During the last decade, social neuroscience has made great progress in understanding the neural correlates of social cognition. However, because the cerebellum is traditionally viewed as only involved in motor processing, the contribution of this major part of the brain in social processing has been largely ignored and its specific role in social cognition remains unclear. Nevertheless, recent meta-analyses have made its crucial contribution to social cognition evident. This raises the question: What is the exact function of the cerebellum in social cognition? We hypothesize that the cerebellum builds internal action models of our social inter-actions to predict how other people's actions will be executed, what our most likely responses are to these actions, so that we can automatize our interactions and instantly detect disruptions in these action sequences. This mechanism likely allows to better anticipate action sequences during social interactions in an automatic and intuitive way and to fine-tune these anticipations, making it easier to understand behaviors and to detect violations. This hypothesis has major implications in neurological disorders affecting the cerebellum such as autism, with detrimental effects on social functionality, especially on more complex and abstract social cognitive processes. Because the fundamental anatomical organization of the cerebellum is identical in many species (cerebellar microcomplexes), this hypothesis could have major impacts to elucidate social interactions in social animals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-42
Number of pages10
JournalMedical Hypotheses
Volume128
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2019

Fingerprint

Interpersonal Relations
Cerebellum
Cognition
Neurosciences
Autistic Disorder
Nervous System Diseases
Personality
Meta-Analysis
Emotions
Brain

Keywords

  • Cerebellum
  • Forward controller
  • Internal models
  • Social

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

The sequencing process generated by the cerebellum crucially contributes to social interactions. / Van Overwalle, Frank; Manto, Mario; Leggio, Maria; Delgado-García, José María.

In: Medical Hypotheses, Vol. 128, 01.07.2019, p. 33-42.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Van Overwalle, Frank ; Manto, Mario ; Leggio, Maria ; Delgado-García, José María. / The sequencing process generated by the cerebellum crucially contributes to social interactions. In: Medical Hypotheses. 2019 ; Vol. 128. pp. 33-42.
@article{57818d1499f241b8ab6801af81031390,
title = "The sequencing process generated by the cerebellum crucially contributes to social interactions",
abstract = "The capacity to understand another person's emotions, intentions, beliefs and personality traits, based on observed or communicated behaviors, is termed social cognition. During the last decade, social neuroscience has made great progress in understanding the neural correlates of social cognition. However, because the cerebellum is traditionally viewed as only involved in motor processing, the contribution of this major part of the brain in social processing has been largely ignored and its specific role in social cognition remains unclear. Nevertheless, recent meta-analyses have made its crucial contribution to social cognition evident. This raises the question: What is the exact function of the cerebellum in social cognition? We hypothesize that the cerebellum builds internal action models of our social inter-actions to predict how other people's actions will be executed, what our most likely responses are to these actions, so that we can automatize our interactions and instantly detect disruptions in these action sequences. This mechanism likely allows to better anticipate action sequences during social interactions in an automatic and intuitive way and to fine-tune these anticipations, making it easier to understand behaviors and to detect violations. This hypothesis has major implications in neurological disorders affecting the cerebellum such as autism, with detrimental effects on social functionality, especially on more complex and abstract social cognitive processes. Because the fundamental anatomical organization of the cerebellum is identical in many species (cerebellar microcomplexes), this hypothesis could have major impacts to elucidate social interactions in social animals.",
keywords = "Cerebellum, Forward controller, Internal models, Social",
author = "{Van Overwalle}, Frank and Mario Manto and Maria Leggio and Delgado-Garc{\'i}a, {Jos{\'e} Mar{\'i}a}",
year = "2019",
month = "7",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.mehy.2019.05.014",
language = "English",
volume = "128",
pages = "33--42",
journal = "Medical Hypotheses",
issn = "0306-9877",
publisher = "Churchill Livingstone",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - The sequencing process generated by the cerebellum crucially contributes to social interactions

AU - Van Overwalle, Frank

AU - Manto, Mario

AU - Leggio, Maria

AU - Delgado-García, José María

PY - 2019/7/1

Y1 - 2019/7/1

N2 - The capacity to understand another person's emotions, intentions, beliefs and personality traits, based on observed or communicated behaviors, is termed social cognition. During the last decade, social neuroscience has made great progress in understanding the neural correlates of social cognition. However, because the cerebellum is traditionally viewed as only involved in motor processing, the contribution of this major part of the brain in social processing has been largely ignored and its specific role in social cognition remains unclear. Nevertheless, recent meta-analyses have made its crucial contribution to social cognition evident. This raises the question: What is the exact function of the cerebellum in social cognition? We hypothesize that the cerebellum builds internal action models of our social inter-actions to predict how other people's actions will be executed, what our most likely responses are to these actions, so that we can automatize our interactions and instantly detect disruptions in these action sequences. This mechanism likely allows to better anticipate action sequences during social interactions in an automatic and intuitive way and to fine-tune these anticipations, making it easier to understand behaviors and to detect violations. This hypothesis has major implications in neurological disorders affecting the cerebellum such as autism, with detrimental effects on social functionality, especially on more complex and abstract social cognitive processes. Because the fundamental anatomical organization of the cerebellum is identical in many species (cerebellar microcomplexes), this hypothesis could have major impacts to elucidate social interactions in social animals.

AB - The capacity to understand another person's emotions, intentions, beliefs and personality traits, based on observed or communicated behaviors, is termed social cognition. During the last decade, social neuroscience has made great progress in understanding the neural correlates of social cognition. However, because the cerebellum is traditionally viewed as only involved in motor processing, the contribution of this major part of the brain in social processing has been largely ignored and its specific role in social cognition remains unclear. Nevertheless, recent meta-analyses have made its crucial contribution to social cognition evident. This raises the question: What is the exact function of the cerebellum in social cognition? We hypothesize that the cerebellum builds internal action models of our social inter-actions to predict how other people's actions will be executed, what our most likely responses are to these actions, so that we can automatize our interactions and instantly detect disruptions in these action sequences. This mechanism likely allows to better anticipate action sequences during social interactions in an automatic and intuitive way and to fine-tune these anticipations, making it easier to understand behaviors and to detect violations. This hypothesis has major implications in neurological disorders affecting the cerebellum such as autism, with detrimental effects on social functionality, especially on more complex and abstract social cognitive processes. Because the fundamental anatomical organization of the cerebellum is identical in many species (cerebellar microcomplexes), this hypothesis could have major impacts to elucidate social interactions in social animals.

KW - Cerebellum

KW - Forward controller

KW - Internal models

KW - Social

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85065642410&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85065642410&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.mehy.2019.05.014

DO - 10.1016/j.mehy.2019.05.014

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:85065642410

VL - 128

SP - 33

EP - 42

JO - Medical Hypotheses

JF - Medical Hypotheses

SN - 0306-9877

ER -