Neural basis of social status hierarchy

Narun Pornpattananangkul, Caroline F. Zink, Joan Y. Chiao

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Social status hierarchy represents a core dimension of interpersonal and intergroup relations across the animal kingdom. Biological mechanisms, such as neurotransmitter systems within neural networks, facilitate the perception, recognition, and expression of social dominance and submission between conspecifics during simple and complex social interactions. Neural systems of social status hierarchy are regulated by gene-by-environment interactions that vary across cultures, due to geographic variation in ecological pressures. Here we review the biological and cultural factors that shape social status hierarchy, primarily in humans. We discuss the implications of this research for understanding population disparities in health and education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Psychology of Social Status
PublisherSpringer New York
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781493908677
ISBN (Print)1493908669, 9781493908660
StatePublished - Apr 1 2014


  • Cultural neuroscience
  • Dopamine neurotransmitter system
  • ERP
  • Gene-by-environment interaction
  • Neuropharmacology
  • Neuroscience
  • Serotonin neurotransmitter system
  • Social status hierarchy
  • Socioeconomic status (SES)
  • fMRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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