The "social" brain is comprised of a network of neural regions which includes the amygdala [Brothers]
The amygdala is one of several neural regions that are affected in autism.
non-verbal 3 year old talks>>>>
Areas of the ‘social brain’.
A set of brain regions are commonly co-activated across a range of social tasks:
the medial and ventromedial prefrontal cortex, the posterior cingulate/precuneus, the amygdala and anterior hippocampus, the anterior temporal lobes, the posterior superior temporal sulcus and temporo-parietal junction, the lateral portion of the fusiform gyrus, the left inferior frontal gyrus, somatosensory and anterior intraparietal cortices, and the anterior insula .
These are often referred to collectively as the ‘social brain’ [Frith and Frith, 2007; Olson et al., 2007; Blakemore, 2008; Adolphs, 2009; Mitchell, 2009].
Social intelligence is deﬁned here as our ability to interpret others’ behaviour in terms of mental states (thoughts,
intentions, desires, and beliefs), to interact both in complex
social groups and in close relationships, to empathize with
others’ states of mind, and to predict how others will feel,
think, and act. We will use the term social intelligence
synonymous with theory of mind .1
Autism is a neuropsychiatric condition that disrupts the development of social
intelligence. Studies of autism can therefore allow us to
study the neural basis of social intelligence.
The idea that social intelligence might be independent of
general intelligence comes from four sources.
² There are individuals who are capable of considerable
understanding of the non-social world (e.g. physics,
maths, engineering) yet who readily admit to ﬁnding
the social world confusing [2,3].
² The opposite type of individual also exists: people who
have no difﬁculty interacting with the social world but
who ﬁnd non-social problem-solving confusing .
² Certain kinds of brain damage (e.g. to the amygdala) can
cause selective impairment in social judgement  without any necessary loss to general problem-solving ability.
Loss of social judgement can of course co-occur with
memory and executive dysfunction , but the functional
double dissociation between social and non-social intelligence suggests their neural independence.
² Many primatologists now believe that social problemsolving (independently of other factors such as tool-use
or other non-social problem-solving) was a key driving
force behind the evolution of primate intelligence .
A neural basis of social intelligence was ﬁrst proposed by
Brothers . She suggested from both animal lesion studies
, single cell recording studies , and neurological
studies (cited above) that social intelligence was a function
of three regions: the amygdala, the orbito-frontal cortex
(OFC), and the superior temporal sulcus and gyrus (STG).
Together, she called these the “social brain”. Elsewhere, we
have considered the contributions of the OFC and STG to
autism [11,12]. In this paper, we focus on the role of the
amygdala in social intelligence, and develop an amygdala
theory of autism. The theory proposes that the amygdala is
one of several neural regions that are necessarily abnormal
The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA or HTPA axis), also known as the limbic-hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (LHPA axis) and, occasionally, as the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal-gonadotropic axis, is a complex set of direct influences and feedback interactions among the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland (a pea-shaped structure located below the hypothalamus), and the adrenal (also called "suprarenal") glands (small, conical organs on top of the kidneys).
The interactions among these organs constitute the HPA axis, a major part of the neuroendocrine system that controls reactions to stress and regulates many body processes, including digestion, the immune system, mood and emotions, sexuality and energy storage and expenditure. It is the common mechanism for interactions among glands, hormones, and parts of the midbrain that mediate the general adaptation syndrome (GAS). While steroids are produced only by vertebrates, the physiological role of the HPA axis and corticosteroids in stress response is so fundamental that analogous systems can be found in invertebrates and monocellular organisms as well.