Can a physical injury to the brain, resulting from an accident, and not the result of a diagnosed mental illness, affect a person's social behavior?

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    $\begingroup$ If sociability wouldn't have anything to do with the brain, by what other mechanisms would the exposure to the world shape future behaviour? $\endgroup$
    – Alex
    Dec 16, 2015 at 18:08
  • $\begingroup$ I didn't say that sociability isn't due to brain. I asked whether brain injury can affect social life or not. :) $\endgroup$ Dec 16, 2015 at 18:12
  • $\begingroup$ So you should edit your question cause now title and first sentence are terrible $\endgroup$
    – Mithoron
    Dec 17, 2015 at 0:15
  • $\begingroup$ oh, sorry about that.. I changed it.. :) $\endgroup$ Dec 17, 2015 at 5:44

1 Answer 1


Socialization is a cognitive and executive brain based function that requires higher level thinking mechanisms usually dependent on the prefrontal coretex. A lot of social cues we obtain from our environment when we are young can shape our brains during its developmental growth (infancy-post puberty) and cause our brains to develop social habits and access specific social functions.

A great text book example of altered social behavior due to brain injury is Phineas Gage. He had a metal rod shot through the prefrontal cortex and it caused a severe change in his behavior. He no longer cared about social cues and people often referred to his behavior as becoming "rude" and "out of context." There are many subtle aspects of behavior that are regulated by brain functions and there are many books on the topic.

Source: Wikipedia page on Phineas Gage and Pyschopharmacology, book by: Meyer and Quenzer DSM-5, text book on clinical psychology

Further Reading on Phineas Gage
- What were the symptoms of Phineas Gage after suffering his brain injury?

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    $\begingroup$ I was going to suggest that we migrate this question to cogsci, but this answer kept it neatly on topic. $\endgroup$
    – James
    Dec 16, 2015 at 12:36
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    $\begingroup$ Thanks! I think both sections intermingle nicely sometimes. $\endgroup$
    – ephackett
    Dec 16, 2015 at 12:48
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    $\begingroup$ Great answer and +1 for including a reference other than Wikipedia. @James - This question is on topic on both sites, regardless the answer. $\endgroup$
    – AliceD
    Dec 17, 2015 at 7:36
  • $\begingroup$ @Christiaan I don't think it was off-topic, but from the question I thought a better quality cogsci answer would emerge than what our community might provide, but this answer showed me wrong. Cross posting might still be interesting with this question. $\endgroup$
    – James
    Dec 17, 2015 at 7:40
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    $\begingroup$ Despise the tasteless title, I find this case really interesting: Brain tumour causes uncontrollable paedophilia $\endgroup$
    – Yisela
    Jan 15, 2016 at 22:12

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