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Many psychiatric and neurological disorders present deficits in both the social and cognitive domain. In this perspectives article, we provide an overview and the potential of the existence of an extensive neurobiological substrate underlying the close relationship between these two domains. By mapping the rodent brain regions involved in the social and/or cognitive domain, we show that the vast majority of brain regions involved in the cognitive domain are also involved in the social domain. The identified neuroanatomical overlap has an evolutionary basis, as complex social behavior requires cognitive skills, and aligns with the reported functional interactions of processes underlying cognitive and social performance. Based on the neuroanatomical mapping, recent (pre-)clinical findings, and the evolutionary perspective, we emphasize that the social domain requires more focus as an important treatment target and/or biomarker, especially considering the presently limited treatment strategies for these disorders.
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