Universiteit Leiden

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Me, My Fiends, and I

A neuro-ecological perspective on adolescent prosocial development

Rosa Meuwese
31 October 2017

The aim of this thesis is to highlight social environmental and neural processes at play during adolescent prosocial development using an integrative approach of multiple levels of social functioning and relationships. This approach integrates adolescent peer relations research with prosocial development perspectives using behavioral, sociometric and neuroimaging techniques. The evidence provided by this thesis and previous studies supports a model that highlights interactions between the peer context, individual prosocial functioning and brain development. In this neuro-ecological model of prosocial development, the morphology of social brain regions develops in interaction with social experiences. Positive experiences could be responsible for the motivation that is necessary for the recruitment of regions that support social cognition skills and thereby facilitate prosocial behavior.

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