Objective: The main purpose of this study was to evaluate whole-brain and hemispheric activation in normal adult volunteers to videos depicting positive and negative social encounters. There are few studies that have utilized dynamic social stimuli to evaluate brain activation. Method: Twenty young adults viewed videotaped vignettes during an functional magnetic resonance imaging procedure. The vignettes included positive and negative interaction scenes of social encounters. Results: Significant right greater than left activation for positive and negative conditions was found for the social interaction videos in the amygdaloid complex, the inferior frontal gyrus, the fusiform gyrus, and the temporal gyri (p < 0.0001). Conclusion: These findings support the hypothesis that the regions of the right hemisphere are more active in the interpretation of social information processing than those regions in the left hemisphere. This study is a first step in understanding processing of dynamic stimuli using ecologically appropriate stimuli that approximate the real-time social processing that is appropriate for use with populations who experience significant social problems.

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