My research in social neuroscience looks at the nature of human social intelligence, from both applied and theoretical perspectives.
Social competence: My applied research focuses on the importance of assessing social judgment in determinations of legal competency, e.g., in deciding whether to appoint a financial conservator for someone with a head injury. Neuropsychologists are often called on to provide assessments in such cases, yet often do not have good tools to assess social judgment. I have developed several measures to fill this gap.
Theoretical perspectives: I combine perspectives from the study of human evolution and from cognitive neuroscience in studying the social brain. I am particularly interested in the evolution of the frontal lobes and their role in social intelligence.
Place attachment and interpersonal attachment: I have recently focused on how people form place attachments. The interpersonal attachment system is common to mammals, and depends on the neuropeptide oxytocin. Territoriality, or attachment to place, is far more ancient evolutionarily, and depends on neuropeptides called nonapeptides, from which oxytocin may have been derived in evolution. My research has found that there are strong similarities in the dimensions of people's emotional attachments to places and to people: safe haven, secure base, separation protest, and proximity seeking.
- Applied Social Psychology
- Emotion, Mood, Affect
- Evolution and Genetics
- Neuroscience, Psychophysiology
- Nonverbal Behavior
- Person Perception
- Social Cognition
Research Group or Laboratory:
- Cognitive and Social Neuroscience Laboratory
- Baron-Cohen, S., Wheelwright, S., Stone, V. E., Jones, R., & Plaisted, K. (1999). Recognition of faux pas by normally developing children and children with Asperger Syndrome or high-functioning autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 29, 407-418.
- Baron-Cohen, S., Wheelwright, S., Stone, V. E., & Rutherford, M. D. (1999). A mathematician, a physicist and a computer scientist with Asperger Syndrome: Performance on folk psychology and folk physics tests. Neurocase, 5, 475-483.
- Gregory, C., Lough, S., Stone, V.E., Erzinclioglu, S., Martin, L., Baron-Cohen, S., & Hodges, J. (2002). Theory of mind in patients with frontal variant frontotemporal dementia and Alzheimer's disease: Theoretical and practical implications. Brain, 125, 752-764.
- Hargrave, R., Maddock, R. J., & Stone, V. (2002). Impaired recognition of facial expressions of emotion in Alzheimer's disease. Journal of Neuropsychiatry & Clinical Neurosciences, 14(1), 64-71.
- Pinsker, D., Stone, V. E., Pachana, N. A., & Greenspan, S. (2006). The Social Vulnerability Scale for Older Adults: A validation study. Clinical Psychologist.
- Reed, C. L., Stone, V. E., Grubb, J. D., & McGoldrick, J. E. (2006). Turning configural processing upside down: Part and whole body postures. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 32, 67-83.
- Reed, C., Stone, V. E., Bozova, S., & Tanaka, J. (2003). The body-inversion effect. Psychological Science, 14(4), 302-308.
- Slaugher, V., Stone, V. E., & Reed, C.E. (2004). Perception of faces and bodies: Similar or different? Current Directions in Psychological Science, 13(6), 219-223.
- Stone, V. E. (2006). The moral dimensions of human social intelligence: Domain-specific and domain-general mechanisms. Philosophical Explorations, 9(1), 55-68.
- Stone, V. E., Baron-Cohen, S., & Knight, R. T. (1998). Frontal lobe contributions to theory of mind. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 10, 640-656.
- Stone, V. E., Baron-Cohen, S., Stone, V. E., Baron-Cohen, S., Calder, A. C., Keane, J., & Young, A. W. (2003). Acquired theory of mind impairments in individuals with bilateral amygdala lesions. Neuropsychologia, 41, 209-220.
- Stone, V. E., & Gerrans, P. (2006). Does the normal brain have a theory of mind? Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 10(1), 3-4.
- Stone, V. E., & Gerrans, P. (2006). What's domain-specific about theory of mind? Social Neuroscience, 1(3-4).
- Stone, V. E. (2005). Theory of mind and the evolution of social intelligence. In J. Cacciopo (Ed.), Social neuroscience: People thinking about people. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
- Stone, V. E., Cosmides, L., Tooby, J., Kroll, N., & Knight, R. T. (2002). Selective impairment of reasoning about social exchange in a patient with bilateral limbic system damage. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 99(17), 11531-11536.
- Evolutionary Approaches to Human Behavior
- Neuroscience for Psychologists
- Social Neuroscience
School of Psychology
University of Queensland
St. Lucia, QLD 4072
- Phone: +61 7 3346 9517
- Fax: +61 7 3365 4646